Brian Yamamoto and Elemental Funk perform.

The Venice-Palms Industrial Association was founded in February 1921 to serve approximately 35 families. Known as Venice Japanese Community Center since 1948, the organization has a membership of over 1,550 family and individual households in 2021.

Dave Hirota

On the evening of Dec. 4, the Venice Japanese Community Center held a VJCC 100-year celebration that was attended in-person by 180 guests and volunteers and livestreamed for home viewers.

Highlights of the celebration were a delicious bento dinner prepared by Aki Restaurant of West Los Angeles, dancing to live music by Brian Yamamoto & Elemental Funk, and a presentation program that included introductions to 2020 Person of the Year Awardees Michelle Orne and Luke Uyeda by Wes Shimoda, and 2021 Nisei Week Queen and Miss Western Los Angeles Jaime Sunny Hasama by Delcene Kuwata.

Following a 1921-to-2021 historical review by Dave Hirota, VJCC had the honor of recognizing Hitoshi Shimizu for more than a half-century of dedicated service.

Throughout the pandemic, VJCC continues to bring members and friends together through virtual events. It is hoped that the 100-year celebration will be followed soon by more in-person events in 2022.

Wes Shimoda (right) presents 2020 Person of the Year honors to Michelle Orne and Luke Uyeda.
Nori Kurashige, Mil Kurashige, Kay Matsubayashi, Hitoshi Shimizu, Rev. George Matsubayashi, Patti Shimizu Heyl
Michelle Orne, Sharon Ishida, Nelson Ishida
Kazie Kame, Dussanee Hasama, Nisei Week Queen Jaime Sunny Hasama, Delcene Kuwata

Photos by STEVE FUJIMOTO

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