IKKYUThe Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo kicked off 2014 with its annual Kotohajime performance at the Aratani Theatre on Sunday. Hirokazu Kosaka, JACCC artistic director and a member of Ikkyu, shot an arrow into the kasumi mato (large archery target) in a purification ceremony. He was joined onstage by Terry Vuong and Wei-tarn Wilton Jap of Ikkyu.

PERFORMERSEntitled “Hatsu-Kagami” (First Mirror), the event included harmonica improvisation by Tetsuya Nakamura (above left) and Imperial Court music and movement by Kinnara Gagaku/Bugaku (above right and below).

kinnara gagaku:bugaku

dancers Madame Wakayagi Hisami and her group, Hana no Kai, performed traditional Japanese dance.

speakersSpeakers included (from left): Leslie Ito, president and CEO of JACCC; Consul General of Japan Jun Niimi; Tanner Blackman, representing City Councilmember Jose Huizar; and Henry Ota, newly elected chair of the JACCC Board of Directors.

mochi tossAnother New Year’s tradition was observed — the tossing of fresh mochi to the crowd.


Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo

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  1. PEOPLE IN COUNCIL DISTRICT 14 NEED TO KNOW. Anyone with a sister or mother should tread this. Yes…everyone. I have no political agenda…just stating the truth. Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar is not telling the truth. He is trying to say his relationship with Francine Godoy was consensual to continue his career,as many politicians have done before him.

    If the truth came out, which is that he used his position to harass and torment this poor girl, his life/marriage would be over.The fact is, Francine Godoy was a victim and is now being portrayed as a home wrecker because huizar “admitted to an affair” which just isn’t true.

    People are just stuck on her salary…in the public sector, if a guy over 7 years worked his way up the corporate ladder, it wouldn’t be a big deal. All this girl did was work hard and kept her honor the whole time. Anonymous posters on blogs who made up rumors years ago were just jealous of her and in competition. …. Don’t be fooled …Jose is a scum bag.

    FYI Huizar’s poor wife knows the truth but is remaining silent because she needs him to work to support her and their kids.

    Sincerely-someone who knows