OAKLAND — Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, long time San Francisco Bay Area award-winning master performer of the koto and producer of the documentary, “Hidden Legacy: Japanese Performing Arts in the WWII Internment Camps,” will present outstanding young artists continuing the traditional arts of Japan in the U.S. for the first time in five streamed and live interview events, “NextGen Geijutsuka: Future Stars of Japanese Cultural Arts,” on five consecutive Tuesdays from June 30 to July 28 from 8 to 8:30 p.m. on Facebook Live, and later available on YouTube and Instagram.

This is a continuation of the film’s message to encourage young artists to keep the traditions of Japanese arts alive in Japantowns and other communities.

Come enjoy these unique events by a new generation of artists from California, Japan and Germany who have dedicated their lives to these special arts. These artists collectively will showcase shodō (calligraphy), 13-stringed koto, three-stringed Tsugaru shamisen and kabuki buyō art forms. There will also be live interviews with the artists.

This event is made possible by special funding from the San Francisco Japantown Foundation, Berkeley JACL, Nightingale Media Group and fiscal sponsor Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS).

Muramoto notes that many cultural and traditional arts are dying around the world. “As the world becomes more and more diverse and multi-cultural, the Internet is drawing us all together. One can now experience arts from almost anywhere, especially presented in these living-room concerts. The audience will have a special opportunity to hear and see these young artists perform and hear their stories in interviews. Although they are still performing traditional works, they are also creating their own new works influenced by other people and other arts, which is exciting! I look forward to this event that respects the traditional arts, and is encouraging new expressions for the future.”

The schedule is as follows:

June 30: Kuniharu Yoshida (Los Angeles), shodo

July 7: Isabella Kazuai Lew (Oakland), koto; special guest: Isako Kajun Kashino (Sacramento), koto

July 14: Kyle Abbott (Santa Cruz) and Su Bunjamin (Berlin), Tsugaru shamisen

July 21: Brian Mitsuhiro Wong (Oakland), koto; special guest: Nao Matsui (Japan), koto

July 28: Bandō Hirohichiro (Los Angeles), kabuki buyō; special guest: Bando Nao (Japan)

Special performance of Obon dance, led by Reiko Iwanaga aka Hanayagi Reimichi/San Jose Obon and assistant dancers

Facebook and Instagram page: @NextGenJCA

Website: www.NextGenJCA.com

For more information, contact Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto at (510) 482-1640 or NextGenJCA@gmail.com.

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