By MIA NAKAJI MONNIER
Rafu Staff Writer
The Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro held its second public meeting on Tuesday. In the audience was Frank Omatsu, the only one of Keiro’s eight cofounders still alive. Omatsu voiced his disagreement with Keiro’s decision to sell its facilities. “I didn’t okay it,” he said. He recalled his mother’s hope of what Keiro would represent: a place where Japanese seniors “suterareta kimochi ga nai,” or “don’t feel like they are being thrown away.”
Jonathan Kaji read an email from Fred Tokio Wada, Jr., the son of another Keiro founder, who is also opposed to the sale.
During the Q&A session, Morisaku Morishita, representing the Southern California Gardeners’ Federation, spoke about his organization’s 35 years volunteering in Keiro’s grounds. They volunteer for two reasons, he said: to make sure their senpai spend their last years in a nice place, and to make sure that place is still around when they themselves retire. “It doesn’t have to be a fancy,” he said in Japanese. “It just has to be somewhere with a warm Nikkei atmosphere.”
The committee distributed red strips of fabric, which Kaji explained were meant to be worn as hachimaki at Keiro’s community meeting tonight. “Keiro thinks that our community is a quiet, passive, docile one that doesn’t give a damn,” he said. “I think they have seriously underestimated this community.”