Just as I grew up eating fish sticks with ketchup and soy sauce and football sushi for Thanksgiving, I also attended Nisei Week. Nisei, or second generation Japanese Americans, were the original target audience of Nisei Week, an annual festival that has celebrated Japanese American culture in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles since 1934.
It’s a snapshot into Japanese American culture, straddling two worlds and multiple generations. Women in kimono showcase Ikebana flower arrangements, Japanese American war veterans wear their hats proudly, dolled up aspiring Nisei Week queens wave at fans from their parade float and a newer contingent of young cosplayers even join the mix.
The Nisei Week Grand Parade starts at 5:30 PM, but you better believe that chairs are already in place by 11:00 AM. They look like eager residents peeking out into the street, ready to get things started.
Post by Stefanie Ritoper. Follow Stefanie at @sritoper.