Japanese American Cultural and Community Center to present annual “First Performance” stage, Jan 8, 1:00 pm

JACCC Annual Kotohajime Stage

The ritual shooting the arrow will be performed by a Kyudo archery group. (Courtesy of JACCC)

To welcome the Year of the Dragon, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles presents its annual Oshogatsu festivities with its signature New Year program, Kotohajime, or The First Performance of the New Year, on Sunday, Jan 8, at 1:00 pm at the JACCC Plaza in Little Tokyo.

Every January, Little Tokyo becomes the center for celebrating the Japanese New Year in Southern California, with the JACCC heading up the festivities with programs that invigorate the spirit and imagination.

Literally meaning “the beginning of things,” Kotohajime will celebrate the arrival of 2012 with the theme titled Hatsu-Kaze or “First Wind.”

Curated by the creative vision of JACCC Artistic Director and Pacific Standard Time artist Hirokazu Kosaka, the original Kotohajime performance is a visual delight and artistic achievement, with dazzling performances and live music, accompanied by an award-winning set design.

Kotohajima Kikusa Yasoyo

Kikusa Katada on percussion and Yasoyo Kineya II on shamisen

Highlight of the performers are two Nagauta (music genre of kabuki) pieces: Hinazuru Sanbaso (composed in 1775) and Goro Tokimune (composed in 1841). These performances will be led by Kikusa Katada (percussion), Jyorokusho Kimeya (singing), Yasoyo Kineya II (shamisen), and Sukeyuki Kawashima (okawa percussion) from Tokyo

Other performers include the Kim Eung Hwa Korean Dance Academy and Performing Arts School, and The Professional Training Program students of The Colburn School’s The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute.

The ritual shooting of the arrow, a purification ceremony, will be performed by IKKYU of the Los Angeles Kyudo Archery Group.

This event will be held at the plaza. Open to public. Admission Free.

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is located at 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 628-2725. www.jaccc.org.