Nisei Festival 2010

My favorite event of the year occurred Sunday, August 22 in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.   Since I started attending the festival I have wanted to take part in the dancing.   I did a little last year.  This year I took the free dancing lessons at the Higashi Honganji Temple in Little Tokyo.   Wow… these dances are hard to master. 🙂  Well, suffice it to say that at least I learned enough to almost look like I belonged.   Take a look at the dances I participated in below.  First though, my great granddaughter, Ryan, for no reason that we know of, decided to be a pedestrian traffic cop.   Baby Ryan is 3 years old.   Is this funny?  Hilarious actually.

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2 thoughts on “Nisei Festival 2010

  1. Hi Ralph,

    I watched these videos a few weeks back but didn’t get to leave my comments.

    First off, your great-grandkid Ryan is nothing short of ADORABLE. Her traffic enforcer routine was so funny! She must be a joy to be around. (And she looks like you, too.) Do I foresee her joining her great-grandpa dancing at the Nisei festival in a few more years? =D

    The music and choreography of the dances were just lovely. So graceful and dignified. (Was that enka by the way?) Watching the videos actually reminded me of a few scenes from Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. I especially liked the first dance (and it did seem like it was your favorite :-P).

    (I just LOLd at the two Asian dudes who were doing a little jig past the dancers a couple of times. Was that part of the show? XD)

    Oh, and I loooove that haori jacket you were wearing!!!!!! Really made you stand out.

    Thanks for sharing the videos from the festival. If we had something like that here I’d totally sign up for the street dances. Seemed like you guys were having so much fun. =)

    Cheers,
    E.G.

    • Hi E.G.

      Ryan is just a ball to hang with. She loves the public eye and bothers all neighboring diners in any eating establishment we visit. But they love her. She charms them immediately. I have a feeling she will become a child actress in a few more years.

      I’m sure that some of the music is Enka which BTW I’m liking more and more as I go deeper into the Japanese culture. My favorite dance at this moment is the Shiawase Samba, the 3rd dance video above. As you saw, I’m not too good at it yet. I plan to be an expert by next August. 🙂

      Trish my dance teacher, beginning next Sunday, Oct 10, will be teaching obon dances every second Sunday after the regular Buddhist service at the Higashi Honganji Temple. She plans to do so for the entire year until the next Nisei Festival. I can’t wait to get back to class. She already emailed us that this coming Sunday we will concentrate on the Shiawase Samba. Yippeee…
      I hope Rev. Nobuko will attend the dance classes although she is so perfect she does not need any lessons. But she adds such an air of elegance to the proceedings.

      As for my Happi Jacket, my collection has now exploded to 5 jackets and 2 for Ryan. It appears that I have a tradition now to buy a new jacket every year. 🙂 Though I’m now leaning to getting a Yukata for next year’s festival. Since I’m now comfortable with wearing Japanese traditional clothing in public, a Yukata seems a natural next step for me…. ne?

      The two dudes dancing or jumping around were just dancing participants and not part of the Nisei Fest feature. People just get so enthused after the dancing begins that the spirits soar. However, if you noticed the elegant and pretty gals with the white Kimono, aqua left sleeve, who slid past the camera every now and then, they are part of the festival staff to exhibit the dance steps for the many novice dancers that joined in.

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