2015 / Nisei Week Grand Parade with Nebuta Festival, Aug. 16

Nebuta Yoshitsune at Nisei Week Grand Parade 2015

Dramatic moving paper-wood sculpture of “Yoshitsune Crossing Tsugaru Strait” float (20 ft wide x 30 ft long x 25 ft high) Courtesy of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival. Photo by Jun Nagata, The Rafu Shimpo.

Nebura float will move around 8 PM


With helps from Aomori, giant paper-wood Nebuta sculpture to return to Nisei Week

This year, for the second time in L.A’s history, authentic moving paper-wood sculpture nebuta of Aomori City in Japan will appear in the city’s largest Japanese festival.

The first nebuta float was brought from Aomori City in August 2007 in efforts by a group of Japanese businessmen in Los Angeles. The $300,000 project of nebuta in 2007 was not considered for festival participants to repeat again. The first nebuta to Los Angeles was completed and disassembled in Aomori, and shipped to Los Angeles.

For the 2015 nebuta in Los Angeles, a famous nebuta designer, six craft men, and materials were sent from Aomori to Los Angeles in March to create the new nebuta float from scratch. The production cost of the 2015 Los Angeles nebuta was donated by people in Aomori.

The driving force of returning nebuta to Los Angeles is the Nanka Nebutabayashi Hozonkai or the Nebuta Musical Accompaniment Preservation Association of Southern California.

Toshiaki Toyoshima, owner chef of “Sushi Gen” restaurant in Little Tokyo, is an Aomori native, and the president of the Nebutabashi Hozonkai. He initially organized supporters in Aomori City to realize the 2015 nebuta in Los Angeles.

Toyoshima says “In 2007, it seemed impossible for us to bring back nebuta to Los Angeles from Aomori, but we could think we would learn Nebutabayashi and continue to bring a musical band to the Nisei Week parade every year.”

In 2014,Toyoshima acquired an old warehouse in Little Tokyo, and provided the space to Nebutabayashi Hozonkai for practicing nebuta music. This year, new nebuta “Yoshitsune Crossing Tsugaru Strait” was completed at Toyoshima’s warehouse. And beside Ysohitsune, “Archer Nasu no Yoichi” nebuta has been created by hands of Nebutabayashi Hozonkai.

To show their support to Los Angeles and promote tourism to Aomori, 80 delegations from Aomori City and Aomori Prefecture will participate in the Nisei Week event.

The Nisei Week Grand Parade will take place Sunday, Aug. 16 starting at 5:30 pm. Nebuta floats will be the last in the parade. Nebutabayashi Hozonkai is seeking dancers or Haneto with nebuta and pushers for nebuta floats. Donations are also needed to continue nebuta in the Nisei Week. For more information, visit lanebuta.com.

Nebuta Nasu no Yoichi

Paper-wood sculpture “Archer Nasu no Yoichi” nebuta is created by hands of the Nebutabayashi Hozonkai in Los Angeles. (Cultural News Photo)