The Los Angeles Dodgers will play host to their annual Japan Night, presented by Japan House, next Tuesday, July 26, when the Dodgers take on the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:10 p.m.
Japan House is a new initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to showcase various aspects and values of the country, with emphasis on its contribution to today’s global community. Three locations – Los Angeles, London, and Sao Paulo – have been identified for these hubs that will bring the most authentic aspects of Japan to the world.
Japan House Los Angeles, which will promote understanding and appreciation of Japan as a part of strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship, is slated to open in summer 2017 at the Hollywood & Highland complex.
“Japan House is proud to sponsor Japan Night and introduce Japanese artists and performers who represent a part of the rich and diverse Japanese culture we will promote through our initiative,” said Yuko Kaifu, president of Japan House Los Angeles. “Our Los Angeles doors will open next summer and we hope it will become a destination that brings the community together, just as baseball has done all these years.”
The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Dodger pitcher Kenta Maeda bobblehead doll, presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.
“It is very special that my first Japan Night at Dodger Stadium will be held on my bobblehead night,” said Maeda. “I look forward to celebrating it with the world-class performances by the high-profile guests representing our country.”
Kenichi Ebina, an internationally recognized Japanese dancer, will perform on the field pregame. Ebina, who is known for his gravity-defying movements and unique dance styles, was the winner of the eighth season of “America’s Got Talent” and has performed for Madonna, Cirque du Soleil and several international TV shows.
Judith Hill, a soul singer and songwriter of Japanese and African American descent, will perform the national anthem of the U.S. She has extensive experience as a backup vocalist for music legends including Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Hill’s story as a backup singer was featured in the acclaimed documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” which won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Music Film.
The Japanese national anthem will be performed by Atsushi, the lead vocalist for the Japanese dance and vocal megagroup Exile. The group has won numerous honors, including the Japanese Record Award for Song of the Year, the Japan Gold Disc Awards and the MTV Video Music Award. Atsushi is also known as a very successful solo artist and will become the first artist to have performed a solo tour at all six major dome stadiums in Japan this year.
The Nisei Week Foundation, who puts on the oldest and longest-running Japanese American festival of its kind, will have its Nisei Week Court on hand as well.
Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.dodgers.com/Japan.