President’s Message

July 2017


On behalf of the Nisei Week Foundation, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the 77th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival. With all the new development, including the many new businesses, residents, and visitors, we welcome the multi-cultural and demographic diversity. Our theme this year, ‘Ohana Bringing People Together is very appropriate. ‘Ohana is the Hawaiian word for family. Not only was the meaning instilled in me growing up in Hawaii, but after moving to Los Angeles, I witnessed the ohana spirit my mentors Uncle Bobby Chun and Aunty Marian Chun offered to everyone they met. We wish to express our feeling of ohana and welcome everyone to the festival as it allows people of all backgrounds to participate together and enjoy the traditions and beauty of the Japanese culture.

This year our mascot Aki the Akita has a new look. You will see him at many of the events throughout Nisei Week, please say hello to him. Our popular events, including the Baby Show, Coronation, Grand Parade, Plaza Festival, Awards Dinner, Pioneer Spirit Award Luncheon, exhibits, Rubik’s Cube Competition, Gyoza Eating Championship, Ondo Street Dancing, and Closing Ceremony will be taking place at various locations in Little Tokyo. We look forward to seeing all of you at these events.

Thank you to the sponsors, businesses, Nisei Week Foundation board of directors, committee chairs, families, friends, and many volunteers who make it possible to have the Nisei Week Japanese Festival year after year. Your support allows the legacy of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival to thrive.

It is extremely rewarding for us all to see the thousands of people who visit Little Tokyo to share in this celebration of Japanese culture. We thank you for your tremendous support and we hope you will continue to visit Little Tokyo frequently in the future.

Leiton Hashimoto
2017 President
Nisei Week Foundation