San Gabriel Celebrates New Year

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IMG_1423The San Gabriel Japanese Community Center held its annual Shinnenkai (New Year’s party) and Keiro Kai to honor seniors on Jan. 31. The annual event included lunch, live entertainment, speeches, acknowledgement and appreciation for those who have reached milestones, and of course a raffle where everyone was a winner. Above: Young members of the SGJCC Judo Club pose for a picture. They lent a hand by distributing raffle tickets to the attendees.

_1411Having reached the age of 90-plus, these folks were recognized by the SGJCC board: (back row, from left) Chiyo Watanabe, Tak Yoshida, Tomi Nakayama, Yoshito Fujimoto; (front row, from left) Shinichi Yanagihara, Lucky Yamamoto, Mabel Furuto and David Nakamura.

IMG_1427Sogetsu ikebana instructor Kaz Yokou Kitajima holds a pair of traditional Japanese floral centerpieces in the style used for New Year’s celebrations. The pieces were created by Kitajima and his students for the party.

IMG_1441Nikkei Senior Ukulele Band members belt out a lively rendition of “Auld Lang Syne,” Hawaiian style.

IMG_1418Those in attendance clap with appreciation at the end of one of the numerous musical performances.

IMG_1417Soloist Saburo Koga entertains on stage.

IMG_1402Carmen Mochizuki and other community center volunteers hand out bentos.

IMG_1435Toni Tomita holds a centerpiece made to look like this year’s animal from the Asian zodiac, the sheep, created by members of the community center.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo

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