New Year’s celebration 2015
By Miriam Stenshoel
In the stylish setting of Maison Akira in Pasadena, members and guests of the Los Angeles Sister City Affiliation (LANSCA) gathered to celebrate the New Year on January 24. 2014 had been a watershed year for LANSCA and there was much to rejoice about when looking back at the old year. Nagoya Day at the Grove had been a stunning success. Even for LANSCA Chair Teruko Weinberg, who had envisioned and spearheaded the 55th anniversary celebration, the event had far exceeded expectations. Nagoya Mayor Kawamura and the Nagoya official delegation had been thrilled to see Nagoya Day in Los Angeles, and could see the impact such an annual event would have for the City of Nagoya in the future.
Chair Teruko spoke of this and other achievements of LANSCA in 2014. Clearly there was work to do in the upcoming years as Nagoya Day becomes part of LANSCA’s annual events. She thanked everyone for their hard work and participation. She asked what must be done for the second Nagoya Day and how LANSCA can promote Nagoya to the people of Los Angeles. She proposed an angle of tourism as a way to create ties on the individual level between the people of Nagoya and Los Angeles. Teruko thanked Chef Akira for his participation in Nagoya Day as well as for hosting the delicious LANSCA New Year luncheon at his restaurant even though it was normally closed at that hour.
A certificate of commendation from the City of Los Angeles was given to Ernest Hida for serving as LANSCA Chair for five years, and for the many years he has dedicated to building the Japan – U.S. relationship through his numerous activities.
Students of Mountain View Ohana Ukulele & Hula na Keiki gave a performance after the meal. LANSCA member Harriet Furuya developed the Hawaiian culture program at Mountain View Elementary School. Along with her husband Ken, sister Eunice Kohatsu, and friend Bea Thompson, this has become quite a strong cultural program for the school. Among the songs performed were some Japanese numbers, including “Shojoji,” “Haru ga Kita,” and a beautiful version of “Sakura.” The dancers danced a lively “Little Grass Shack” and a stately rendition of the Kahiko chant “E Lili Ue.” Good sports from the audience danced the ever favorite “Hukilau.”
The event was also graced with minyo dancers of Nippon Minyo Kenkyukai Kotobuki no Kai. Shihan, Imoto Hoshunjyu and her student Sandy Sugiura performed “Nadeshiko Bojo” and led everyone in the rousing finale “Maruhachi Ondo.”
Harriet Furuya (the woman at the microphone), Ken Furuya (the man playing the ukelele), Shihan Imoto Hoshunjyu (Susan Imoto) and Sandy Sugiura (Nihon Buyo).