ondoLittle Tokyo’s Centenary United Methodist Church on May 2 held its annual Arigato Bazaar, which included a public ondo, food, entertainment, a silent auction, and activities for kids. Taiko accompaniment for the dancing was provided by George Abe of Kinnara Taiko.

nishinaka, akune, nishinakaMartha Nishinaka (left), founder of the Obon Hoppers, performed earlier in the day and later presented flowers to other dancers/instructors who participated, including Shuko Akune (center) of the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center’s Meiji Ondo Group. The following day, Nishinaka was honored at the Downtown Los Angeles JACL’s Women of the Year event. At right is her husband, Wesley Nishinaka.

lolita darkNew this year was an after party featuring the rock band Lolita Dark, led by singer/songwriter Rayko (right).

cosplayAn anime cosplay contest was another new element.

olsen:k-luFor a Lolita Dark music video, attendees danced to “Big City Girl’s Ondo,” written by Rayko and choreographed by band member K-Lu (right, with the character for “bad” on her cheek) and 2011 Nisei Week Queen Erika Mariko Olsen (left).

gangstersDirected by Daniel Kim, the video featured actors Toshiji Takeshima and Keith Kawamoto as gangsters. The characters on Rayko’s cheek are for Shibuya, her birthplace in Tokyo.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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