Boyle Heights Community Partners and the Little Tokyo Historical Society will host the first annual Nikkei Celebration in Boyle Heights on Sunday, Aug. 7, in L.A.’s storied Boyle Heights neighborhood.

The celebration will be an opportunity to learn more about Japanese American history, neighbors and businesses owners in the city’s second-oldest community.

The event, which is open to the public, starts at 3 p.m. at Saratoga on East First Street with a parade that will end at Otomisan (Boyle Heights landmark restaurant), 2506½ E. First St. After the parade, cultural entertainment and performances will take place, including a public ondo at 6 p.m., another chance to dance this summer.

Skid Row-kyo Mission’s Little Tokyo Dance Club has been asked to lead the ondo. Ryujin Taiko will be on the yagura and participants will dance to a mix of traditional and pop songs.

Performers will include classical Japanese dancer Nancy Hayata and Hikari Taiko, which is based at the Southeast Japanese Language School and Community Center in Norwalk. Jeffrey Chin will read from “A Rebel’s Outcry,” a biography of community leader Sei Fujii. The Nisei Week Court will make an appearance.

Speakers will include Vivian M. Escalante, CEO and president of Boyle Heights Community Partners; Michael Okamura, president of Little Tokyo Historical Socieety; Councilmember Kevin de Leon of District 14; and David Monkawa, co-chair of Save Our Seniors Network.


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  1. Growing up on 2nd & Mott in 1962 most neighborhood friends were mostly Japanese girls and some boys 8 to 3 ratio.
    It was an inspiration to have a culture embrace and nurture me through my first 7 years of life.
    Just saying…?