|Above, the opening ceremony of the breaking of sake barrels. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
For the first time in three years, I went to the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles for their New Year's Day Oshogatsu festival.
Since parking is somewhat difficult, I got there early and immediately found a parking lot with plenty of spaces.
From there, I headed over to Japanese Village for something to eat. After having some coffee with a Japanese pastry, I wandered around for a bit and then headed to Weller Court where the opening ceremonies and entertainment takes place.
At Weller Court, I ran into my former boss, former Assemblyman Paul Bannai. who is about 95 years old now. He still is active, although slowed a bit. The last time I saw him was at the 2014 Oshogatsu in Little Tokyo. He is still busy taking pictures with his Canon camera (he noticed that I had a Canon camera with me).
I also had a discussion with the staff of the Rafu Shimpo Japanese newspaper. We may be collaborating on something in the near future concerning Japanese pop culture.
I headed into Kinokuniya Bookstore and purchased a Blu-ray of Godzilla 2000, which included both the U.S. and Japanese versions. From there, I went to the Kimono Ya store and bought a small Bandai Godzilla 2004 figure.
After making my purchase, I walked about 75 yards to the stage area to watch the opening ceremonies and a performance of a taiko drum group. The opening ceremonies included a flyover by a LAPD helicopter and the breaking of two sake barrels.
Following the ceremonies, I headed back to Japanese village and had a teriyaki beef bowl for lunch and then headed to browse around the Anime Jungle store.
For some reason, I usually have better years when I attend the Oshogatsu festival in Little Tokyo. Maybe I'm superstitious. But, at my age, I need all the help I can get.
Some photos of Oshogatsu:
|Above, the Daily Planet Building (i.e., Los Angeles City Hall). Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the Challenger memorial outside of Weller Court. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, Japanese Village before the crowds arrived. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, a gent in Imperial Japanese army garb. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, yours truly with a familiar Japanese celebrity.|
|Above, former California State Assemblyman Paul T. Bannai at the Anime Jungle display. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the Nisei Week queen and her court. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the crowd at the opening ceremonies. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, taiko drum performance. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
For more photos, go here.