On May 5, nearly 150 residents from Keiro Retirement Home and Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (formerly Keiro Intermediate Care Facility) gathered in the Yoshie C. and Joseph M. Hirata Activity Hall on the Boyle Heights campus to celebrate Kodomo no Hi or Children’s Day.

The festivities included a special Japanese musical variety show coordinated by longtime volunteer Patrick Seki, featuring koto, Tsugaru shamisen, karaoke, odori and taiko. In addition to the talented performers, the residents enjoyed delicious kashiwa yomogi mochi and hot tea.

Seki has been teaching shigin, a lyrical reciting of Japanese poetry, to the retirement home and intermediate care facility residents for over 10 years. He has been coordinating special entertainment programs for the past decade because he enjoys sharing his love for traditional Japanese music and dance with the seniors.

He said he would really like to promote shigin to Yonsei and Gosei youth and is searching for an avenue to preserve this element of Japanese culture for future generations.

Sakura ICF resident Betty Makabe was beaming with joy after the performance, stating she really loved the Tsugaru shamisen performance.

Kotoko Toji, also a Sakura ICF resident, stated she enjoyed all of the entertainers and especially noted the beautiful kimonos worn by the dancers, reminiscent of the kimonos she once wore.

Keiro Retirement Home and Sakura Intermediate Care Facility truly appreciate all of the volunteers and entertainers that made the Kodomo no Hi event so memorable for the residents and those that continue to volunteer their time and show their love for the seniors on a daily basis.

From left: Patrick Seki, Yukiko Ikebe, Kim Masumi, Akira Ogura, Junko Masuda, James Low, Mitsuru Sasaki, Emiko Kishi, Hideko Suzuki.

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