Angelenos to Offer ‘Love to Nippon’

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Several events are being planned to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan, including the following in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, March 11:

• “Love to Nippon 2012,” a 3/11 memorial event, will be held at the Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium at LAPD Headquarters, 100 W. First St., Los Angeles.

The event is co-presented by the Japan America Society of Southern California and the Love to Nippon Project, with the cooperation of the Asia America Symphony Association, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Iwate Kenjin Kai, Nichibei Fujinkai, Nikkei Senior Gardens in San Fernando Valley, Union Church of Los Angeles, and many other community organizations.

Offerings of flowers and incense for the victims of last year’s disaster will be made from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own flowers and incense.

A program emceed by David Ono of ABC7 Eyewitness News will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Speakers will include LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara, Consul General Jun Niimi, and Nancy Woo Hiromoto, chair of the JASSC.

Battalion Chief Larry Collins of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue, which went to the tsunami zone shortly after the disaster, will give a presentation.

Ono’s documentary about Japan’s recovery over the past year will be screened, followed by a Q&A session.

The program will also include a musical tribute by the Asia America Youth Orchestra String Quartet and a panel discussion among Southern Californians who volunteered after the earthquake and tsunami.

Seating is limited; early reservations are recommended. Go to www.jas-socal.org.

• “Shinsai” is a nationwide fundraising event to benefit the members of the Japanese theater community that has suffered due to the last year’s devastation. This one-day event will be held across the country on March 11.

The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at CSU Los Angeles will present a staged reading from a selection of donated short plays and one-acts, including work by prominent playwrights Suzan Lori-Parks, Naomi Iizuka, Toshiki Okada and Doug Wright, at 3 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St. in Little Tokyo.

JANM is a community sponsor, providing the space for this event. There are no tickets to purchase; this event is by donation only.
Those who can’t attend can make an online contribution at www.dgfund.org/programs/shinsai/.

• The Nikkei Interfaith Group of Little Tokyo will hold a candlelight vigil from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum Plaza, First Street and Central Avenue in Los Angeles.

“A sea of candles will demonstrate the support of Little Tokyo, the city of Los Angeles, and the importance of solidarity amongst all of humankind in the face of this world disaster,” said Rev. Mark Nakagawa of Centenary United Methodist Church. “This event will be reflective, as we remember the lives of individuals and families that were lost in this tragedy. It will also be hopeful, as we light candles that break the darkness of hopelessness and despair for those who survived and continue to struggle as they attempt to move forward in their lives.”

The vigil is also supported by the Nisei Week Foundation and JANM.

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