What to see and do during the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo – San Bernardino Sun

The annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival returns to an in-person celebration in 2022 and will highlight 80 years of Japanese culture in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

The free event will include cultural displays, activities and exhibits, live music and other entertainment, food, a car show, grand parade and more Aug. 13-21.

“It’s a chance for Japanese and Japanese Americans to come back to Little Tokyo to celebrate our community and culture and for us to share this with the rest of Los Angeles,” said Cory Hayashi, co-president of Nisei Week.

Nisei Week was started in Little Tokyo in 1934 by a small group of second-generation Japanese Americans in hopes of bringing people to the historic neighborhood. A scaled-back version of the event was presented virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The past two years marks only the second time the festival has been paused. The first was from 1941-1948, during World War II, when many Japanese Americans were forced into  incarceration camps.

“It’s a really big moment for us having this back,” Hayashi said.

In the past, he said, there were more events scheduled throughout the entire week, but with current pandemic concerns, a bulk of the activities have been pushed to and scattered throughout the weekends.

Here are a few of the highlights of Nisei Week. For the full schedule, go to niseiweek.org.

Cultural Exhibits

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 13-14 and Aug. 20-21

Details: Several Japanese cultural objects will be on display at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. The free exhibition will include immaculately maintained bonsai trees, Japanese dolls and ceramics, examples of Japanese calligraphy and ikebana flower arrangement displays.

Where: JACCC, 244 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles.

Car show and anime

When: 12-7 p.m. Aug. 13

Details: Anime and cars come together in this event that will include anime art displays, vendors and anime-themed import cars. Cosplay is encouraged.

Where: Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Obon, 815 E. First Street, Los Angeles.

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