2013 / Japanese American women group to honor classical dance master, June 9

Hanayagi Rokumine Image

Hanayagi Rokumine

A Japanese American women group will honor veteran Japanese classical dance master Hanayagi Rokumine of Los Angeles.

A program “An Afternoon with Hanayagi Rokumine” presented by the Nikkei Women Legacy Association will be held on Sunday, June 9, in the new Senator Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democracy, Tateuchi Forum Theater in Little Tokyo from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, followed by an informal dessert reception from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democracy is at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 North Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012. 

Tickets for the program with limited seating are being accepted on a first reserved first-paid basis. Tickets are $20.

The Nikkei Women Legacy Association was formed by a group of former Nisei Week queens who wish to “give back to the community” two years ago, after presenting Diane Estelle Vicari’s film “Conspiracy of Kindness: The Story of Chiune Sugihara,” the Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust, at the Japanese American National Museum’s Tateuchi Forum Theater.  

As its second year event, the Nikkei Women Legacy Association wishes to honor and pay this special tribute to Hanayagi Rokumine for her years of community service and for preserving the Japanese cultural arts through over fifty years of teaching classical Japanese odori.  

She is now retiring and the Japanese American community thanks her for her many years of dedication of preserving the cultural art of classical Japanese dance, Nihon-buyo, or “odori.”  

Through her years of teaching, she has made a difference in the lives of so many young dancers to learn and appreciate the art of Japanese classical dance.  

She has been an inspiration with her perseverance and dedication, over-coming the many challenges that so many of the Issei, Nisei and Nikkei women struggled while raising a family during the difficult war years, as well as being a woman who never lost sight of her goal of becoming a teacher to pass on her love of Japanese dance to the younger generations.   

In the special program for Hanayagi Rokumine, the NWLA presents a special guest dancer:  Hanayagi Wakashizuna to perform a classical kabuki Japanese dance “Shoujou”.  

She is the great-granddaughter of late Michio Ito, famous choreographer and modern dancer from New York, Paris and Tokyo.  She is also granddaughter of Wakana Hanayagi.  

Also two former Nisei Week Queens Lauren Kinkade Wong and Erika Olsen will be singing Misora Hibari songs.  The shamisen selection will be played by Madame Matsutoyo Sato, noted Shamisen teacher.  

The highlight of the program will be a 20-minute taped video interview of Hanayagi Rokumine.  

An informal dessert reception will immediately follow the program at the George and Sakaye Aratani Central Hall in the Japanese American National Museum.  

In 2012, the Nikkei Women Legacy Association honored Mario Reyes, Photo Editor of Rafu Shimpo for 25 years.  

For further information about “An Afternoon with Hanayagi Rokunime” program, contact June Aochi Berk at (818) 400-3273 or email:  nwlaorg@gmail.com

Sponsors for the program include:  The Japan America Society, The Music Center, the U.S.-Japan Council, and Irene Hirano-Inouye.

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