Nikkei Community Day, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA

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May 200817
10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.

JACCC Garden Room A.
United States


Ties That Bind will open the Second Annual Nikkei Community Day with a symposium on “The State and Future of the Nikkei Community” on Saturday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, in JACCC Garden Room A. This year’s theme, “Changing Landscape: From Redress to Redevelopment to Redefinition,” will serve as the launching pad for discussion for the morning speakers. Everyone concerned about the future of the community is encouraged to attend. Floyd Mori, National Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), will serve as keynote speaker. As the Japanese American community commemorates the 20th anniversary ofthe Japanese American redress bill, Mori will speak about the great victory the community achieved in obtaining redress for World War II injustices, and how it can inspire Nikkei to tackle the challenges facing the community today. Dr. Dean Toji, professor of Asian American Studies at California State University, Long Beach, will lead a segment on "Framing our Community." He will discuss current myths aboutthe Nikkei population in light of research data, describe past successes of community leaders building vital community centers and programs from the 1950s to 1980s, and present future challenges for the community in finding a new vision, re-defining a mission and purpose, and developing strong leadership to enable it to survive and prosper. Chris Aihara, Executive Director of JACCC, and Glenn Kawafuchi, Owner and Principal of Kawafuchi Consulting, will conduct the third segment entitled, "Suggesting a Model for Planning for the Future.” As temple member and process facilitator respectively, they will present and discuss their experiences helping Senshin Buddhist Temple go through a “re-visioning” process, which included a discussion of leadership change and succession. Bill Watanabe, Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center and Chair of Ties That Bind and the Nikkei Community Day Planning Committee, will serve as symposium moderator andwill conduct a question-and-answer period after each segment.

The symposium continues the dialogue that has been going on for over a decade on the future ofthe Nikkei community. It was this concern that led community leaders to organize several national and local conferences to address the question of how the community will survive in the 21st century. Here in the Los Angeles area, over 400 Nikkei from all over California gathered in 1998 for the Ties That Bind Conference, and over 60 Nikkei leaders from the local area gatheredin 2002 for Ties That Bind II (TTB2). Out of TTB2 came recommendations concerning what the community could do to ensure its viability for the future. The leaders who followed up and took on the task of implementing the recommendations, formed a group which continued to meet monthly under the name of the two conferences. Hence, the group, Ties That Bind, was born.

In 2003, Ties That Bind created the annual one-week Japanese American heritage summer daycamp for middle school children called Camp Musubi. In September 2005, it organized Ties That Bind 3, a conference on the preservation of Little Tokyo as a historic heritage community. In July 2006, it launched the Little Tokyo Historical Society to collect, preserve, and disseminate the rich history of Little Tokyo. And on May 12, 2007, it put on the First Annual Nikkei Community Day. Nikkei Community Day is a one-day celebration of Japanese and Japanese American heritage,community, and culture sponsored by Ties That Bind in collaboration with the Nikkei Federation, Little Tokyo Service Center, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Japanese American Citizens League, and Little Tokyo Recreation Center. It is part of a whole weekend festival called Little Tokyo FunFest which includes the San Tai San (3-on-3) Basketball Tournament sponsored by the Recreation Center on Saturday, Children’s Day Chibi K Fun Run and cultural workshops sponsored by JACCC on Sunday, and the Asian Pacific Arts& Crafts Faire sponsored by JACCC on both days.

For more information, contact Cyril Nishimoto at 818-541-9089 or, or go to



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dmatsumoto . Last modified Jul 09 2010 12:11 p.m.


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