GARDENA — Back by popular demand, “Sansei Stories” will begin a six-week session at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute on Thursday, May 7, from 7 to 9 p.m.
As the Sansei generation rapidly approaches, or has reached, or has gone beyond, the Golden Years, it’s time to record and memorialize the experiences of these Sansei Baby Boomers. The stories could be about anything; stories about growing up in East L.A., Crenshaw, Gardena; about dances, college, the ’60s; about getting married (or not), having children (or not); about taking care of aging Nisei parents; about best friends and relatives; about life-changing experiences and lessons learned.
This workshop will help both new and experienced writers develop a memory, character or story about the Sansei. Each session includes a writing exercise, followed by the reading and discussion of stories in progress. The workshop will culminate in a public reading of stories.
The previous “Sansei Stories” workshop successfully concluded April 12 with the reading of stories at the GVJCI’s Second Sunday Jam Session, in which 13 writers read their stories to a packed house. Participating writers were Janet Mitsui Brown, Patti Dozen, Kathryn Endo-Roberts, Sanaye Furukawa, Debbie Mochidome, Nick Nagatani, Genie Nakano (who also performed a dance piece), Hideki Obayashi, Yoshie Sakai, Kei Sakita, Pat Takayama, Beverly Toyama and Naomi Yoshida.
The program also included musical performances by an a cappella group from Berkeley, MEAN (Members Even After NiCE), made up of alumni from NiCE (Nikkei Choral Ensemble); NSU Yosakoi, another UC Berkeley alumni group; spoken-word artist Rick Nakashita; and musicians Steve Yano and Kiki Kingi. Dale Inafuku served as emcee.
Although the subject is Sansei, the workshop is not limited to Sansei; participants can include anyone with Sansei parents, Sansei children, or Sansei friends.
The “Sansei Stories” workshop will be conducted by Tim Toyama, award-winning playwright of “Visas and Virtue,” “Independence Day,” “Memorial Day,” “Yuri and Malcolm X,” and “Bronzeville.”
For more information, contact Michelle Yamashiro at [email protected] or call (310) 324-6611. There is a $30 workshop fee.
The workshop is limited to eight people, so sign up quickly in order to ensure your spot.
Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo