PACOIMA — San Fernando Valley JACL and the Grateful Crane Ensemble present “Growing Up Sansei” on Sunday, April 3, at 2 p.m. at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St. in Pacoima.

Soji Kashiwagi
Soji Kashiwagi (Rafu Shimpo photo)

Just the mention of a “Japanese American dysfunctional family play” has brought smiles and laughter from Baby Boomer Sansei who grew up in a uniquely JA family environment. In Soji Kashiwagi’s new comedy/drama, “Garage Door Opener,” we meet Glenn and Sharon Tanaka, a Sansei brother and sister faced with the daunting task of cleaning out their deceased parents’ garage and house.

As they sift through dozens of empty tofu containers, kamaboko boards and broccoli rubber bands, Glenn and Sharon begin to uncover items from their past that they knew nothing about, and in the process begin to gain a better understanding of their parents — and themselves — by the items their mom and dad left behind.

Satsuki Ina
Satsuki Ina (Rafu Shimpo photo)

After the reading, Dr. Satsuki Ina, an expert on JA family dynamics, will facilitate a dialogue about the play with Kashiwagi and answer questions about issues such as camp and its after-effects on the Nisei, Sansei and subsequent generations, shame and not bringing shame on the family, and decluttering one’s life of both emotional and physical baggage.

Tickets are $15, plus $10 for bento. For more information, contact Nancy or Patricia Takayama at (818) 899-7916 or, or any SFV JACL board member.

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