Aratani Foundation donates one-million dollars to Budokan of Los Angeles project

Budokan Donation from Aratani Foundation

Little Tokyo’s multi-purpose sport center Budokan project receives one-million-dollar donation from the Aratani Foundation: (from left) Jamie Hagiya, leader of youth basketball teams, architect Hayahiko Takase, LTSC’s Bill Watanabe, and campaign chair Alan Kosaka. (Cultural News Photo)

The Budokan of Los Angeles project, 36,000 square foot multi-purpose sports and activity center located in Little Tokyo, received one-million dollar donation from Aratani Foundation at the Budokan Campaign Kick-off Reception on Aug 10 at the Toyota USA Automotive Museum in Torrance.

Sponsored by the Little Tokyo Service Center, the facility will be constructed at 237-249 South Los Angeles Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets), adjacent the Little Tokyo Library. The total project budget is $22.5 millions, and the target construction completion date is Summer of 2016.

The project will consist of a four-court gymnasium, community space and roof-top garden that will provide an array of activities which include sports (basketball, volleyball & martial arts), tournaments, special events and an array of community activities.

Since the inception of the project, Los Angeles-based architect Hayahiko Takase has been providing his expertise, and will serve as the Design Architect for the project.

In the Budokan Campaign Kick-off Reception, Bill Watanabe, Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center, and Alan Kosaka, Chair of Budokan Campaign Committee, unveiled the enlarged check of one million dollars from the Aratani Foundation, charitable arm of Nisei philanthropist Gorge Aratani of Los Angeles.

In the recognition of the Budokan project supporters, Ansho Uchima of Redondo Beach, author of the Judo history in Los Angeles, gave a congratulatory message.

Bill Watanabe’s speech on YouTube