Boyle Heights is set to celebrate its Japanese history with the first annual Nikkei Celebration to take place on Sunday, Aug. 7.
Lead organizers – Boyle Heights Community Partners and the Little Tokyo Historical Society – say the event, set to run from 3 – 8 p.m., will serve as a celebration of the Nikkei (Japanese emigrants and their descendants) throughout Los Angeles and as an opportunity for community members to learn about the large Japanese population that once lived in Boyle Heights.
The celebration will start with a parade that will take off from Saratoga and 1st Street and march a few blocks west to Otomisan, the city’s oldest continuously operating Japanese restaurant recently listed as a historic-cultural monument, near Matthews. There, various cultural presentations will take place, including a public “ondo” (musical performance) set to begin at 6 p.m., led by Skid Row-kyo Mission‘s Little Tokyo Dance Club. Drummers Ryujin Taiko will be on a “yagura” (scaffold), inviting participants to dance to a mix of traditional and modern pop songs.
According to the event’s flyer (below), speakers at the event will include Counilmember Kevin de León, CEO & President of Boyle Heights Community Partners Vivian M. Escalante and Little Tokyo Historical Society President Michael Okamura.