2017: Terasaki Budokan: Groundbreaking ceremony for $25 million community sports facility project

Terasaki Budokan Groundbreaking Ceremony on Aug. 3, 2017 in Little Tokyo. From left, Akira Chiba, Keith Tersakai, Dean Matsubayashi, Hayashiko Takase, Bill Watanabe, and Debra Nakatomi. (Cultural News Photo)

The groundbreaking ceremony of a $25 million-project to build community sports facility in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, was held by Little Tokyo Service Center in the morning of August 3, 2017.

The sports facility was named Terasaki Budokan in honor late Dr. Paul I Terasaki because his family foundation provided a critical lift to the fundraising efforts.

38,000 square foot gymnasium will include: two indoor basketball courts, martial arts tournament space, community room, garden view terrace, garden & special event space, community garden, children’s play area, and underground parking.

Taiko drumming and a ceremonial Aikido performance kicked off the groundbreaking ceremony in the Thursday morning at the future site of Terasaki Budokan, 237- 249 South Los Angeles Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets in Little Tokyo.

The original architectural concept was developed by Hayahiko Takase, and final architectural design was done by Cruen Associates in Los Angeles.

Dean Matsubayashi is current Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center: Debora Nakatomi is President of Board of Directors of Little Tokyo Service Center: Dr. Keith Tersakai represents Terasaki Family Foundation which donated $3.5 million to the Budokan project.


Ceremonial Aikido performance was demonstrated by Aikido 5th dan black belt Consul General Akira Chiba of Japan in Los Angeles and Aikido black belt Mr. Joel Kassay, a TV producer.


Reflection on Building a Dream was delivered by Bill Watanabe, former Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center: “Let’s start construction, ..in fourteen months, come back to celebrate it. If we built it, I know, people will come.” (Cultural News Video)


Closing remarks was made by Alan Kosaka, chair of Terasaki Budokan Capital Campaign Committee: “Connecting Little Tokyo are all important.” (Cultural News Video)


Los Angeles dignitaries and staff of Little Tokyo Service Center performed shovel ceremony on the site. (Cultural News Video)


To view more video clips of Terasaki Budokan Groundbreaking Ceremony, visit https://www.facebook.com/CulturalNewsPaper/


Terasaki Family Foundation gives Little Tokyo Service Center $3.5 million gift to build Budokan https://www.ltsc.org/index.php/ltsc-receives-major-gift-for-budokan

Terasakai Budokan designed by Gruen Associates. (Courtesy of Little Tokyo Service Center)