Johnny Mori

Johnny Mori

John Yukio “Johnny” Mori is a musician and arts educator/administrator from Los Angeles.

Born November 30, 1949, he is the second son of his Issei father and Nisei mother. As a young man, he was an early activist, draft resistor, and general hell-raiser during the Asian American Movement in the 1970s, and ran the Amerasia Bookstore in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. The shop was a co-operative bookseller that also served as a community meeting place and political action and performing arts venue. Mori went on to travel the globe as a percussionist for the jazz-fusion band, Hiroshima, before retiring in 2003.

Mori is a seminal member of Kinnara Taiko, one of the first Japanese American taiko groups in the United States. For the past 20 years, he has also taught workshops on taiko and Japanese American culture to participants ranging from elementary school to university students. He currently serves as the Producing Director of Performing Arts at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles. (June 13, 2007)

Video clips

Description
Decision between becoming a minister or musician
Starting Japanese American taiko their own way
Buddhist philosophy in taiko
Japanese American taiko is not Japanese taiko
Women playing taiko
Parents didn't accept me playing taiko in the beginning
Performing in the first Asian American play, "The Monkey Play"
Performing the koto and taiko drum together, in Japan
Taiko considered "Jazz" in the Philippines
Thoughts on the term, "Nikkei"

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