Celebrating Alameda’s Lost Japantown through the Performing Arts
The Island City Waterways® Japantown Art Walk honors Alameda’s Japanese American community with traditional Japanese folk arts, contemporary dance, traditional taiko and world music in Alameda’s historic Japantown district. The Japantown Art Walk brings back the memory of Alameda’s Japantown that was lost during WWII.
Each performance reflects a different aspect of Alameda’s Japanese American community in conjunction with the City of Alameda’s Tonarigumi historic marker project.
Beginning at the Alameda Free Library, ODC/Dance– San Francisco’s premier contemporary dance company – presents “May’s Letters” an original work by ODC choreographer Kimi Okada, inspired by letters written by her mother while in Tule Lake internment camp.
Performances at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda reflect traditional cultural celebrations: Ensohza Minyoshu presents traditional Japanese folk dance and music evoking the festival spirit and character of Japan’s diverse rural communities; PJ Hirabayashi, taiko artist & founder of TaikoPeace, invites the community to participate in “Ei Ja Nai Ka,” a dance, rhythm, song, and chant in celebration, gratitude and commemoration of our immigrant ancestors; Jane Suiei Naito will create a contemporary art installation using a traditional form of ikebana (flower arranging).
At Buena Vista United Methodist Church, embracing the contemporary and progressive, Maze Daiko performs original music that combines taiko with world rhythms and melodies creating a unique sound that is influenced by the cultural diversity of the Bay Area.
The Japantown Art Walk is a collaboration between Rhythmix Cultural Works, the Buddhist Temple of Alameda, Buena Vista United Methodist Church, the City of Alameda Free Library and Economic Development and Community Services Department.