Rubén “Funkahuatl” Guevara

Rubén “Funkahuatl” Guevara is a native Angelino and over the past 50 years has worked as a musician, record producer, journalist, poet, film actor, playwright-performance-theater artist, teacher, and activist. He is a UCLA graduate in World Arts & Cultures and lives and works in Boyle Heights. www.tantrikfunk.net

Updated October 2014

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Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest III

“MERRY CHRISTMAS, MARIO-SAN”

Little Tokyo, 1989

One night, Mario Martinez, a struggling musician from Boyle Heights, was sitting in a booth at the Atomic Café in Little Tokyo when punk god Sid Vicious walked in with his entourage and ordered fried rice. Suddenly rice balls were flying through the air but no one seemed to mind or notice. It wasn’t unusual for that kind of craziness. Other punk bands would come by such as X, The Bags, The Ramones, even David Bowie and the avant-garde artist Andy Warhol once paid a visit. Even though punk music wasn’t Mario’s cup of ...

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Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest II

Masao and the Bronze Nightingale

Boyle Heights, 1940

“Hey Masao, where did you score those fine drapes, ese?”

“Over on Brooklyn and Soto. Manny Garcia’s uncle has a tailor shop there.”

“Órale pues, you’re lookin’ sharp, vato!”

Thanks, Lil’ Joe, ay te watcho, catch you later, carnal!”

Yeah, Masao Imoto knew how to dress sharp alright. He was a Japanese American nisei zoot suitor, a pachuke, Japanese slang for pachuco. The older generation called them yógore “those that get dirty drinking and gambling hanging out at pool halls and picking up prostitutes.” Yeah, they were the bad boys of Boyle Heights and ...

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Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest

Yuriko & Carlos

Little Tokyo, 1941 

As I walked toward Little Tokyo over the First Street Bridge from Boyle Heights, I felt the bracing power of the fiery sunset embrace me with more love than my own family gave me. The sky and the air filled me with hope, filled me with big dreams. My father only filled me with anger.

One day as I was leaving my job, I heard loud taiko drums and bamboo flutes wailing away outside a temple on First and Central. A group of dancers were dancing in a big circle when she suddenly appeared. She was wearing ...

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