Kokoro will be the dance band.

“Made in J-Town” will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, at Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 815 E. First St. (at Vignes) in Little Tokyo. Doors open at 5 p.m., followed by music and dancing at 6:30 p.m.

The dance was originally scheduled to be held at Budokan, but the venue was moved due to the possibility of rain.

The evening soiree, a fundraiser for Terasaki Budokan, begins with a performance by J-Town Taiko Club. The featured band will be Kokoro.

Wear your favorite happi coat, Budokan T-Shirt, basketball jersey, Nisei Week Queen’s outfits, dance clothes, and whatever represents your organization, social group or hobbies. 

Terasaki Budokan is home to taiko, martial arts groups, basketball teams, exercise/yoga/tai chi classes, pickleball, ping pong, community meetings, voting, odori/dance, religious gatherings and a much-needed recreation center. It has hosted many memorials and weddings, seminars and shows. In the future … maybe a  fashion show, tea ceremony and food tastings, wine and dinner pop-ups … maybe an Olympic event in 2028?

The future of  Terasaki Budokan looks bright, and thanks to all of you who have supported and helped fundraise since the idea was first kicked around over 35 years ago, it is finally here, up and running. All of those cookie and arare sales, basketball-a-thons, dance events, opportunity ticket sales, golf tournaments, etc., all have paid off…it is your hard work, support and energy that have made all of our community dreams and wishes come true.

We are also so sad to announce that this will be Steven Santiago’s farewell performance with Kokoro as he leaves California for Idaho to take care of family obligations. Steven, who was with Carry On and is now with Kokoro and other tribute bands, will be singing many of your favorite dance tunes. Jamming with Kokoro will be Yuri Matthews on saxophone, and the Kokoro gang featuring Jennifer Lindy. And who knows just who might show up to join the party?

Yes, we will have a dance floor outside in the Lower Plaza in front of the band platform.

We wouldn’t be in Little Tokyo without a welcome ondo led by Shuko Akune, who will be teaching an ondo dance to “Roll It, Roll It.” Easy to learn and fun to follow. 

Akimi Watanabe will be teaching two line dances during each band break. so bring your dancing shoes and join the crowd.

Parking: All guests may use the free shuttle service from Nishi Temple parking lot (corner of First Street and Vignes) to Terasaki Budokan from 4 p.m. After the dance, shuttles will take you back to Nishi Temple until midnight. Parking will have security.

Sports Fan $1,000 table sponsors (entrance from 5 p.m.) will have parking directly below Terasaki Budokan. Dinner boxes will be served at the tables. Please carpool as much as possible as spaces are limited.

Martial Artists $750 table sponsors (entrance from 5 p.m.). Parking is provided with free shuttle service from Nishi Temple parking lot to and from the Terasaki Budokan. Carpooling is still enouraged as much as possible.

Individual ticket holders: Entry to dance after 7 p.m. with free shuttle service from Nishi Temple to and from the Terasaki Budokan. Carpooling is encouraged as much as possible.

On the Upper Terrace, SOLT V (Straight Outta Little Tokyo 5) will be selling tickets, T-shirts and swag for their fundraising event on Oct. 15, Saturday at Terasaki Budokan. 

Individual open seating for those coming in after 7 p.m. will be up on the Second Level Terrace, where there will be some surprise booths and vendors.

We will be sellng opportunity drawing tickets and paid guests have a chance for special door prizes.

Deadline to reserve your tables has been extended to Monday, Sept. 5. No tickets will be sold at the door.

COVID protocols: We are monitoring the city and health COVID mandates daily. To protect yourself and your fellow guests, we are highly recommending masks.

In advance, thank you for your past support, and hope to see you so that all of us can wish Steven Santiago good luck in his next adventure.

For more information:

Wayne Nagao, wnagao@msn.com

Nancy Hayata, nancyhayata@gmail.com

Carol Tanita, cntanita@mail.com


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