2022 / Japanese American Cultural & Community Center / Kotohajime: New Year’s Cultural Presentation to be held virtually on Jan. 2 at 1:00PM, PT

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) in Los Angeleswill present the 39th Annual Kotohajime virtually on Jan. 2 at 1:00PM, PT via https://www.jaccc.org

The JACCC invites the public to join this free virtual event as the JACCC celebrates new beginnings.

In 1983, Hirokazu Kosaka, the artist of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, shot the first arrow of “Kotohajime”.

The event has grown to become the JACCC’s signature New Year’s celebration.

Literally meaning “the beginning of things,” Kotohajime will celebrate the Year of the Tiger with the theme Hatsu-mato or “First Target.”

Ceremony is the source of all art and music. From time memorial, humanity has sought to transcend everyday existence, to escape discomfort, and to cope with uncertainty. Sacred music and dance are at the core of this search for spiritual awakening.

The thread of “Hatsu-Mato” (First-Target) guides this year’s Kotohajime.

In old Kyoto, Renji (latticework) is used on street-facing windows. The aesthetic of a slightly obscured view gives play to shadows and
invokes a sense of possibility for passers-by.

Traditional Japanese archery uses the “Kasumi mato” (Hazy target) representing the full moon draped by fleeting clouds. The strict outline of the target is more clearly delineated by a soft edge.

Kotohajime is supported in part by The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Kyudo, a group of the Los Angeles Kyudo Kai, will perform the art of Archery for the Kotohajime 2022.

The Los Angeles Kyudo Kai founded in 1916 at Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. The archery range was at the present LA police station.

In 2022, the group will celebrate their 106th Anniversary. The art of Archery is both sacred and tangible. Dating back to 11th Century, it has been used as an art of purification in ceremonies within the Imperial Court of Japan, Buddhist temples, and shrines. In order to accomplish a perfect shot one must have immediate action without any intervening thoughts.

Nadeshiko-kai will perform Kimono events for the Kotohajme 2022. Nadeshiko-kai, or Japanese Culture and Traditions, Inc. was established in 2011 as a volunteer-run non-profit organization to promote and preserve Japanese culture and traditions by Ms. Takako Sasaki.

Nadeshiko-kai covers a broad range of activities, such as helping other Japanese organizations and events. Nadeshiko-kai is very proud of their Coming-of-Age Ceremony. It is a long-held tradition in Japan which celebrates everyone who reaches 20 years old.

Bando Hidesomi will perform Nihon Buyo or traditional Japanese dance for the Kotohajime 2022. Bando Hidesomi has been teaching in the greater Los Angeles area for 25 years.

She started her training under Madame Bando Mitsuhiro, at the age of three. In 1985, she also started training under Madame Bando Hideko, daughter of Grand Master Bando Mitsugoro IX.

Bando Hidesomi and her students have performed at the Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival, Bowers Museum, Southcoast Botanical Garden, Awaya-Kai Koto concert, Makoto Taiko Anniversary concerts, the Nisei Week Festival and many other venues throughout the years.

Through Nihon Buyo, Bando Hidesomi wishes to express her feelings of appreciation and respect for all cultures, and hope her passion for Nihon Buyo will bring love, joy, peace and hope to everyone, creating a bridge of unity between all cultures.

Izumi Minamitani, president of Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Los Angeles Chapter, will perform the Ikebana for this year’s Kotohajime.

She is from Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. She started learning the Hayami of tea ceremony when she was 12 years old, and started learning Ikenobo Ikebana and Sencha tea ceremony Bodaisentouryu when she was 15 years old.

She came to Los Angeles in 1994 and started teaching Ikenobo Ikebana in 1998.

The Los Angeles Chapter of Ikenobo Ikebana is one of the largest chapters outside of Japan with over 300 members.

The Omotesenke Domonkai Southern California Regin U.S.A branch will perform the tea ceremony for the Kokohajime 2022.

The Southern California branch of the Omotesenke Schook was originally started in 1969, with its headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.

The Southern California branch has currently over 160 members in Southern California, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, among other states and in Canada. As a non-profit organization, the Southern California branch aspires to spread the traditions of Chanoyu through dedication and discipline of daily practice by its members.