2017 / Hapa Japan Festival Day 1, February 22 (Wed)

Hapa Japan Festival 2017 Los Angeles

Hapa Japan Film Screenings: “Born With It” & NHK Series: “Mixed Roots,” Episode 1 (2016)

Wed, February 22, 2017
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Tateuchi Democracy Forum at the Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Born with It (2014) and NHK Series: Mixed Roots, Episode 1 (2016)

The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival’s Best Film Award winner, Born with It tells the story of the first day at school for a 9-year-old Japanese-Ghanian boy, Keisuke.

At a new school in rural Japan, Keisuke contends with discovering his own identity as well as earning the acceptance of his classmates.

This short film is followed by the U.S. premiere of Japan’s NHK public television series Mixed Roots. The television series follows the lives of three Japanese-Ghanian brothers (the Yano Brothers) and how they negotiate their identities between Japan and Africa.

Stick around after the films for a conversation with Born with It actor Dadie Takasugi and Film Director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour as well as a discussion with Mixed Roots film subjects—the Yano Brothers (Michael, David, and Sanshiro).

Reception Catered by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik and Jam Session 

Wed, February 22, 2017
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Reception Catered by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik
6:30-7:30pm

In this reception, Sita presents Yellow Peril mochi ice cream and other treats connecting Japanese American history to the present. In exchange for ice cream, she’ll be asking participants what makes them want to scream in our current political reality.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Sita is Japanese Colombian and Indian. She works with craft and food as a way to tell the stories of our migration, recently building a candy-filled piñata border wall in the San Francisco-based project Estamos contra el muro | We Are Against the Wall.

Sita is also a founding member of the People’s Kitchen Collective, a group that firmly believes that food is where we meet, where we build, where we struggle, and where we survive.

“The Ghost That Wasn’t” Film Screening
6:30-7:30pm

Short film will play on loop in the Nerio Education Center

Elina Moriya’s fascination for Finnish and Japanese folklore ghost stories led her on a journey to investigate what ghosts represent and the values they echo in both cultures.

Questioning how values and beliefs are rooted within history and how they are passed on from one generation to the next, Moriya searched for cultural cues that are visible but silent, intangible yet tactile.

In the video, predominant narratives from ghost films are deconstructed and reframed to form new narratives.

Events are simultaneously occurring across a multitude of locations in mixtures of visual grammars, symbols, aesthetics and styles, operating in multidimensional, subconscious paradigms and conceptual frameworks.

However, none of the resulting elements can be placed into fixed locations nor can be attributed a verifiable source. This challenges what is recognized as an acknowledged visual grammar, with its related aesthetics and an appropriate paradigm, and ultimately all answers remain as floating as the images.  www.emoriya.com

“Hafu2Hafu,” A Special Photographic Presentation by Tetsuro Miyazaki
6:30-7:30pm

Hāfu2Hāfu is a personal project in which half Japanese photographer Tetsuro Miyazaki investigates what it means to be hāfu, or half Japanese.

In this process, every portrayed hāfu was asked: “What is the one question you would like to ask other half Japanese?”

The combination of portraits and questions gives a unique look into the hearts and souls of half Japanese people and starts a dialogue about advantages, privileges, opportunities, difficulties, belonging and wanting to belong to two different societies.

For more information see http://hafu2hafu.org/

Hapa Japan Jam Session I
7:30-9pm

Featuring Hapa Japan musicians Kat McDowell, and the Yano Brothers

Kat McDowell: Born in Tokyo & raised in New Zeland, Kat McDowell has always loved music and her fun Ocean Pop sound is definitely her own.

Kat’s cover of “Nagoriyuki” went to no 1. on the vinyl charts in 2007, and has since released 3 albums and done 3 nationwide tours in Japan.

Some highlights were playing for Princess Kiko in 2010 and in 2015, Kat was a finalist in the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter competition making the top 5 out of 14,000 entries. Her mission in life is to tell stories, bring hope and connect people through her music.

The Yano Brothers: A vocal unit made up of 3 brothers who are of Ghanaian and Japanese descent.

Japan+Africa=Jafrican, is a creation of a new genre. A sound that mix harmony full of passion and a message that fascinate the soul.