On Oct. 15, the fifth annual Straight Outta Little Tokyo (SOLT) fundraising event finally landed on its home court at Terasaki Budokan, Little Tokyo Service Center’s new multi-purpose community center.
“The first four events raised money for Budokan’s capital campaign,” said Brian Okuhara, SOLT committee member. “Seeing over 1,000 people attend SOLT in the Budokan is a dream come true for all of us.”
The large space allowed the intergenerational music festival to celebrate the ’80s and ’90s with live performances by Chazzu Sama, Elemental Funk and hip-hop trio Sugar Hill Gang headlining the event.
Gathering around the beloved Oiwake bar top, guests remembered their favorite neighborhood hangout.
The first-ever “Streets of Budokan” car show showed off restorations, muscle cars and low-riders.
After visiting Little Tokyo legacy businesses’ merchandise tables, guests cheered on the contestants of a b-boy battle contest, hit the links on a putting green, and took their chances with Dough Ball in memory of community member Jason Kato.
SOLT is organized by a dedicated volunteer committee who came of age during the genesis of the Budokan project. Their mission is threefold: to carry on the efforts of Little Tokyo’s ’80s and ’90s grassroots organizers, to connect their generation and children’s generation back to Little Tokyo through Budokan, and to do this important work all while having fun.
Thanks to generous sponsors, donors and supporters, SOLT 5 raised $25,000, which went directly to support Budokan’s mission-oriented programming for low-income youth, families, and seniors.
“Terasaki Budokan is a community-driven project, and events like SOLT create an inclusive and fun space for people to celebrate, dance, and make memories together. It’s amazing to see the diverse, intergenerational audience that the SOLT planning committee has engaged over the years,” mentioned Director Ryan Lee.
To learn more about Terasaki Budokan, visit: www.TerasakiBudokan.org.
Photos by MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo