Kyodo Taiko at UCLA will perform at the 54th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, on Saturday, April 29, starting at 12 p.m., conditions permitting, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles.
Led by 2022-23 Co-Directors Cody Yoshida and Jared Yuge, Kyodo Taiko will make their 17th consecutive appearance at the Manzanar Pilgrimage this year. They are the first collegiate taiko group in North America, making their debut at the opening ceremony of UCLA’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Japanese American incarceration, which was held in February 1992 at UCLA’s famed Royce Hall.
Composed entirely of UCLA students, Kyodo Taiko has performed at local K-12 schools, Nisei Week, the Tofu Festival and the Lotus Festival in Los Angeles, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, during halftime at UCLA men’s basketball games, the first annual USA Sumo Open, and the 2018 Community Art Days in Bishop, sponsored by the Inyo Council for the Arts, in addition to many other campus, community and private events.
The theme for this year’s pilgrimage is “Our Legacy: Generational Struggles for Democracy.” Featured speakers will be Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director of the AAPI Equity Alliance and a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, and Dr. Arthur A. Hansen, one of the leading scholars documenting and researching Manzanar and the Japanese American incarceration and the author of the new book “Manzanar Mosaic: Essays and Oral Histories on America’s First World War II Japanese American Concentration Camp.”
Also speaking will be Brenda Ling, superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site, and James Matsuoka, son of the late community activist Jim Matsuoka.
Cultural performances will begin at 11:30 a.m., while the main portion of the pilgrimage program begins at 12 p.m.
In addition to the afternoon event, the Manzanar At Dusk program follows that evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lone Pine High School gymnasium, located at 538 S. Main St. (U.S. Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s.
Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA, and UC San Diego.
The Manzanar Committee has also announced that a limited number of seats on the bus to the pilgrimage from Little Tokyo are still available, but are going fast.
The bus will depart at 7 a.m., arriving at the pilgrimage at approximately 11:30 a.m., and will also take participants to the Visitor Center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program. The bus should arrive back in Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The non-refundable fare is $60 per seat. Complimentary fares are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites during World War II.
Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.
To reserve seats on the bus, call (323) 662-5102 or go to https://manzanarcommittee.org/2023bus-0reservations.
Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk are free and open to the public. For more information, call (323) 662-5102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.