Nisei Week (二世週祭 Nisei-shū Matsuri)
It's that time of year again! Nisei week has finally arrived and we just can't wait for the festival ceremony to begin. Since the first Nisei Week that took place in 1934, Little Tokyo has held the annual festival for Japanese Americans in the district, celebrating almost a century-long history of Japanese immigrants and Japanese American culture in the Los Angeles area. Nisei Week has a long history and tradition that have carried and sustained the Japanese American community for many generations.
History of Nisei Week in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles:
Its history dates all the way back to the severe worldwide economic downturn in the 1930s, era of the Great Depression. With the gradual aging of Issei (一世), 1st generation Japanese immigrants, and Little Tokyo falling into stagnation, Nisei week was once a celebration intended to attract Niseis and to help generate more youthful energy in the area. Nisei Week was also created to promote "ethnic solidarity." Utilizing Nisei Week's cultural environment, as mentioned before, Issei wished to bring Nisei back into the cultural fold of the older generation. Issei hoped Nisei to become better connectors between Little Tokyo and the communities around it.
The first festival was held on August 13th in 1934, founded by the JACL, and has continued to be held annually ever since. Nisei week typically continues for a week, from August 19 through 27 this year, consisting of various events such as the grand parade, baby shower, car show, pioneer luncheon, queen coronation and ondo.
Happy early Nisei Week everyone!