Students perform at a recent UCLA NSU Cultural Night.

The Nikkei Student Union (NSU) at UCLA will be hosting its 27th annual Cultural Night, titled “The Songbird: A New Song for the Next Generation.”

This year’s show will be held on Monday, Feb. 18. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m.

From its establishment in 1981, NSU has upheld a strong connection to the Japanese American community and has fostered new relationships through the dissemination of the Japanese American culture both within the UCLA student campus and throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

NSU began as a grassroots student organization promoting the redress and movement for Japanese Americans interned during World War II. Since then, the group has striven to highlight not only the political aspects of the community but also the questions of identity, the Japanese American diaspora, and collaborations with various community organizations that support Japanese and Japanese American culture.

One of the ways NSU fulfills this mission is through the annual production of a Cultural Night in February. Every year, nearly 2,000 community members, friends, and family members participate in helping make the event a huge success.

This full-scale, student-run production, showcased in UCLA’s historic Royce Hall, involves a cast of over 100 performers, featuring a drama and performances by Kyodo Taiko, NSU Modern (hip-hop dance team), traditional Japanese odori dancing, and the new UCLA NSU a cappella group V-TONE.

“This year, our theme honors the legacy of our culture and history,” NSU said in a statement. “Through our drama, we focus on the diversity of the contemporary Japanese American community and its connections to rich traditions as well as newly forged relationships with other communities here and abroad. Our intent is to provide an opportunity for our audience to discover and appreciate the persistence of our Japanese American culture and the many ways it has manifested into the modern and diverse community it is today.”

For more information about either attending the show or making a donation, email

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