The L.A. Clippers hosted Japanese Heritage Night on Dec. 14, with some of the most respected members of the local community on hand for the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Above: U.S. Olympian Sakura Kokumai performs her kata on the court during halftime, with drum accompanyment by J-Town Taiko Club.

The Clippers introduced their Community Heroes of the game. Waving is veteran Ed Nakamura, who served during World War II as a staff sergeant with the Military Intelligence Service, after being drafted out of the Minidoka camp in Idaho. In high school, he was a star on his high school basketball team.

Also recognized was Brian Kito, the third-generation operator of Fugetsu-Do confectionery. Established in 1903 in Little Tokyo, the business is believed to be the oldest Japanese-American-owned store in the U.S.

The Eberly family bundled up and made the trip from Pasadena to catch the game.

Nisei Week Queen Kristine Yada (third from right) and her court show off the special Clippers T-shirt given away during the Japanese Heritage Night, created for the occasion by Japangeles.

Aki the Akita catches up with former North Torrance and Chapman University basketball standout Jenna Nakasu.

From right: Consul General Kenko Sone, Nisei Week Foundation President Nancy Okubo and the 2022 Nisei Week Court wave to fans.

Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo

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