Screen shot of UCLA Kyodo Taiko during an April 2021 recording session at UCLA.

Bonbu Stories and UCLA Kyodo Taiko will perform during the 52nd annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, which will be held online on Saturday, April 24, at 12 p.m. Pacific Time on the Manzanar Committee’s YouTube channel,

Further details about this year’s pilgrimage program, including speakers and other participants, will be announced at a later date.

Bonbu Stories, an Asian American arts collaborative dedicated to using music as a medium for raw storytelling and building connections, was created by Miharu Okamura, Sydney Shiroyama, Miko Shudo, Kendall Tani, Emily Yoshihara and Vicky Zhang, under the mentorship of P.J. Hirabayashi (TaikoPeace), and Dan and Chris Kubo. Being deeply rooted in their Asian American identities and cultures, they strive to share the raw, honest, broken, emotional, and whole experiences and stories of them as bonbus, or imperfect humans.

Led by 2020-21 Co-Directors Michael Tabe and Troy Sisson, UCLA Kyodo Taiko is the first collegiate taiko group in North America, having made their debut at the opening ceremony of UCLA’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Japanese American internment, which was held in February 1992 at UCLA’s famed Royce Hall.

Composed entirely of UCLA students, UCLA Kyodo Taiko has performed at local K-12 schools, Nisei Week, the Tofu Festival and the Lotus Festival in Los Angeles, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, during halftime at UCLA men’s basketball games, the USA Sumo Open, and the 2018 Community Art Days in Bishop, sponsored by the Inyo Council for the Arts, not to mention 14 appearances at the Manzanar Pilgrimage in recent years, in addition to many other campus, community and private events.

The theme of this year’s pilgrimage is “Upholding Democracy and Constitutional Rights for All: No More Concentration Camps.”

”This year’s pilgrimage is taking place in the whirlwind of a deadly pandemic, and in the midst of a deadly wave of anti-Asian violence. It’s also framed by a concerted, relentless attack on our democratic processes,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “These three seemingly disconnected crises, in fact, share common roots and have exposed long-standing divisions in our society

“We cannot simply hold up our own story and not speak to the current moment. Our family histories cannot be lost, but we must speak out more than ever to defend our precious democratic and civil rights. We must demand the repeal of the new Jim Crow laws and demand voting rights be protected and expanded. We must demand strengthening hate crime laws. Despite the progress we must redouble our efforts to end the inhumane detention of immigrants and refugees in Customs and Border Patrol facilities.”

The 2021 Manzanar At Dusk program will be held online, live, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time that same day. The program is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, UCLA, UC Riverside, and UC San Diego.

Further details about the 2021 Manzanar At Dusk program will be announced separately.

For more information, call (323) 662-5102, or email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *