The San Gabriel Japanese Community Center held its annual Shinnenkai (New Year’s party) and Keiro Kai to honor seniors on Jan. 31. The annual event included lunch, live entertainment, speeches, acknowledgement and appreciation for those who have reached milestones, and of course a raffle where everyone was a winner. Above: Young members of the SGJCC Judo Club pose for a picture. They lent a hand by distributing raffle tickets to the attendees.
Having reached the age of 90-plus, these folks were recognized by the SGJCC board: (back row, from left) Chiyo Watanabe, Tak Yoshida, Tomi Nakayama, Yoshito Fujimoto; (front row, from left) Shinichi Yanagihara, Lucky Yamamoto, Mabel Furuto and David Nakamura.
Sogetsu ikebana instructor Kaz Yokou Kitajima holds a pair of traditional Japanese floral centerpieces in the style used for New Year’s celebrations. The pieces were created by Kitajima and his students for the party.
Nikkei Senior Ukulele Band members belt out a lively rendition of “Auld Lang Syne,” Hawaiian style.
Those in attendance clap with appreciation at the end of one of the numerous musical performances.
Soloist Saburo Koga entertains on stage.
Carmen Mochizuki and other community center volunteers hand out bentos.
Toni Tomita holds a centerpiece made to look like this year’s animal from the Asian zodiac, the sheep, created by members of the community center.
Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo