The Nisei Week Foundation announces that it is breaking from tradition to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its Nisei Week Japanese Festival, one of the nation’s longest-running cultural festivals.
The nine-day festival, held each August, was established in 1934 to promote goodwill and attract business to Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. The festival will kick off its festivities with a Nisei Week Bowling Tournament on Sunday, Jan. 18, at the X Lanes on Third and Alameda streets in Little Tokyo.
“Many of the Nisei or second-generation Japanese Americans are now in their 90s,” said Lauren Kinkade-Wong, Nisei Week Bowling Tournament co-chair.
“We saw this as the perfect opportunity to begin festivities earlier to extend this significant celebration and honor the incredible legacy the Nisei have created,” added Silvia Yoshimizu-Yee, tournament co-chair.
The event officially kicks off with the “First Bowl” as distinguished members of the Japanese American community send off bowling balls down each lane. The tournament will include a junior division for individual bowlers (18 years old and under), and teams of four to six bowlers in the men’s, women’s, and senior divisions.
“The longevity of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival is a true testament to the hard work of volunteers who keep the festival thriving each year, and this year is no exception,” said Terry Hara, president of the Nisei Week Foundation. “We are thrilled to roll out an extended schedule of events to commemorate this milestone anniversary, starting with the Nisei Week Bowling Tournament.”
Proceeds from the tournament will help fund an annual scholarship awarded by the Japanese American Women’s Giving Circle (JAWGC) to a young woman who has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy and community service on behalf of the Japanese American community. JAWGC is a subcommittee of the Nisei Week Foundation.
For more information on the event, go to www.facebook.com/nwbowling