LOS ANGELES — UCLA Kyodo Taiko and Daion Taiko will perform at the 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).
Cultural performances, including UCLA Kyodo Taiko, begin at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program starts at 12:00 PM.
Each year, over 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees attend the Pilgrimage, which commemorates the unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in ten American concentration camps, and other confinement sites, located in the most desolate, isolated regions of the United States, during World War II. Manzanar was the first of the American concentration camps to be established.
The theme for this year’s Pilgrimage is Kodomo No Tame Ni: For The Sake Of The Children – Liberty and Justice For All.
Making their tenth consecutive appearance at the Manzanar Pilgrimage this year, UCLA Kyodo Taiko, the first collegiate taiko group in North America, made their debut at the Opening Ceremony of the University of California, Los Angeles’ commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Japanese American Internment, which was held in February 1992 at UCLA’s famed Royce Hall.
Led by 2015-16 directors Lea Chang, Nick Petrik, and David Riccobono, UCLA Kyodo Taiko is comprised entirely of UCLA students. They have performed annually at local K-12 schools, Nisei Week, Los Angeles Tofu Festival and the Lotus Festival in Los Angeles, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, during halftime at UCLA basketball games, as well as the First Annual USA Sumo Open, in addition to many other campus, community and private events.
UCLA Kyodo Taiko has also become a fertile training ground for those who wish to continue with taiko after their college careers end, as many Kyodo alumni have become members of professional taiko groups, including Nishikaze Taiko Ensemble, TaikoProject and Progressive Taiko (Prota).
One of the oldest taiko groups in the United States, Daion Taiko was founded in 1978 at Orange County Buddhist Church as an alternative form of studying and teaching the principals of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.
Daion, in Japanese, means “Great Sound of Enlightenment.” The group has performed at Staples Center, Angels Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and at many other venues. They have also supported many events and organizations, including the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, Orange County Special Olympics, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Bowers Museum.
In addition to the afternoon event, the Manzanar At Dusk program follows that same evening, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at the Lone Pine High School gymnasium, located at 538 South Main Street (U.S. Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s (see map below).
Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State University, Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.
Through a creative presentation, small group discussions and an open mic session, Manzanar At Dusk participants will have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those incarcerated in the camps. Participants will also be able to interact with former incarcerees in attendance to hear their personal stories, to share their own experiences, and discuss the relevance of the concentration camp experience to present-day events and issues.
Pilgrimage participants are advised to bring their own lunch, drinks and snacks, as there are no facilities to purchase food at the Manzanar National Historic Site (restaurants and fast food outlets are located in Lone Pine and Independence, which are nearby). Water will be provided at the site.
Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk programs are free and are open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a seat on the bus, call (323) 662-5102 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. For more information, check out our web site at https://manzanarcommittee.org call us at (323) 662-5102, and e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also follow the Manzanar Commitee on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
LEAD PHOTO: UCLA Kyodo Taiko, shown here during the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 25, 2015, at the Manzanar National Historic Site. Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.
Manzanar National Historic Site
Lone Pine High School
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