President’s Message

July 2018

Dear Nisei Week Friends,

On behalf of the Nisei Week Foundation, welcome to the 78th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival! It is with great pride that we present to you the culmination of countless hours of hard work from our dedicated team of volunteers.

As you explore our Nisei Week event lineup, you will find activities for young and old. From our timeless traditions like the Grand Parade, Taiko Gathering and Closing Ondo to more recent favorites like the Los Angeles Tanabata Festival and the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship to our new “Finding Food with Aki” culinary expedition, there will be plenty of fun, food and entertainment for all.

Our 2018 theme “Generations” pays tribute not only to the legacies of the Issei, Nisei, and Sansei in building this community, but to the contributions to come from the Yonsei, Gosei, and all future generations. It stands as a celebration of the families that have volunteered, sponsored, and attended this festival for decades throughout their lineage. Finally, it stands as a call for all generations to stand together and ensure the success and spirit of Little Tokyo, Nisei Week, and the Japanese American community continue well into the future.

The creation of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in 1934 stemmed from great uncertainty in Little Tokyo as the Great Depression took its toll on the local businesses. The Nisei came up with an idea to bring back younger generations and stir up commerce in Little Tokyo. Through great cooperation with the Issei our festival was born.

In 2018, Little Tokyo once again faces great uncertainty. With development projects and gentrification rapidly shifting the makeup of Little Tokyo’s businesses, residents, and patrons, support for our community is as critical as ever. By coming to Nisei Week you will help Little Tokyo persevere through these challenging times. By supporting this community, you preserve the legacy of the generations that came before us so we can share it with the generations to come.

Thank you for your support and enjoy the Nisei Week Japanese Festival!

Cory Hayashi
Nisei Week Foundation