Finalists Announced for 2nd Little Tokyo Short Story Contest


Actors to present dramatic readings of three winning stories next Wednesday.

Anjo, Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Kurt Kuniyoshi.

Megumi Anjo, Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Kurt Kuniyoshi.

The Little Tokyo Historical Society has announced the finalists for the second annual Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest, which included adult, youth and Japanese-language categories.

Winners will be revealed at a public reception on Wednesday, April 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles.

At the reception, performers Traci Akemi Kato-Kiriyama and Kurt Kuniyoshi will present dramatic readings of the English-language winners’ work, while actress Megumi Anjo will read the winning Japanese-language short story. Winners in the English and Japanese categories will each be awarded $600 in a cash prize, while the youth category winner will receive $400. Each winning short story will be published in The Rafu Shimpo and Discover Nikkei website.

“We are impressed with all the finalists’ creative endeavors,” said Bill Watanabe, head of the Imagine Little Tokyo Committee. “To use their imaginations to ground our beloved Little Tokyo makes this place even more current and relevant. And the addition of youth and Japanese-language categories further expands the scope of our mission.”

The final judges were: Adult English-language — Chris Komai, Todd Shimoda, Tritia Toyota; youth — Traci Akemi Kato-Kiriyama, Kristin Fukushima, Amy Uyematsu; Japanese-language — Yukikazu Nagashima, Eijiro Ozaki, Sunny Seki.

The reception, which will be held in the Garden Room of the JACCC, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Here’s the list of finalists, according to category:

English-Language, Adult

Avril Adams, Los Angeles — “The Last Movie House”
Erica Birrell, Los Gatos, Calif. — “The Distant Moon”
N. J. Campbell, Fairfield, Iowa — “Fish Market in Little Tokyo”
Don Fenton, Dallas, Texas — “All Along This Road”
Swan Gray, Greenbelt, Md. — “Under the Sakura Trees”
Ruben Guevara, Los Angeles — “Masao and the Bronze Nightingale”
Kent Morizawa, Glendale — “The Tempura King”
Janice Morrill, Dallas, Texas — “Floating Home”
Dan Akira Nishimura, Van Nuys — “We’ve Only Just Begun”
Kiyoshi Parker, Los Angeles — “Alice and the Bear”
Chester Sakamoto, Winnetka — “Both Alike in Dignity”
Jerome Stueart, Vandalia, Ohio — “For a Look at New Worlds”
Hans Weidman, Los Angeles — “Queen of Manzanar”


Sarena Kuhn, Los Alamitos — “Midori’s Magic”
Madeline Parga, Simi Valley — “Noboru”
Linda Toch, Corona — “Kazuo Alone”

Japanese-Language, Adult

Yuriko Kondo, Thousand Oaks — “Little Tokyo Juggler”
Miyuki Sato, Hokkaido, Japan — “Mitate Club”
Michie Wakabayashi, Boyle Heights — “Man in the Hotel”



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