As any of my high school friends can tell you, I have never been the most connected person to the Japanese American community. While I did intern at the Rafu Shimpo, I didn’t go to the local temple or church, join the asian Boy Scout troop, or do other things that would put me in touch with many other Japanese Americans. My only strong connections with the community were through asian basketball leagues and the yearly Venice Japanese Community Center festival (I’ve only made it to the WLA obon once and the Venice obon twice).
Each year that I go back I run into someone from my past. A former math teacher, basketball coach, teammate … the festival is my real-life Facebook when reconnecting with the JA community.
It was with great pleasure, then, that I was able to volunteer my time and help document this past festival, held on Saturday, June 20 – Sunday June 21. The photos will eventually be incorporated into a DVD that will be used in fundraising efforts for the expansion of the community center.