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I Miss Little Tokyo

Yesterday, Jeff + I ventured to the neighborhood of my very recent, past residency – Little Tokyo.  It felt so weird visiting the neighborhood that I once lived in for so many years.

Paying for parking, being conscious of time limitations.  Booooo.  Well, our main purpose for the visit was for a much needed hair cut from our hair scientist, Kayo Inamochi.  Yes, I will still drive an hour out of my way to get an education in hair from Kayo. 

First stop – Wakasaya!!!!  It’s a Japanese fast-food chain of sashimi bowls + noodles!  So fast + efficient!  Jeff + I always know that if we’re on a time constraint, Wakasaya will always deliver prompt + consistent!!!!










I brought Kayo some photos of inspiration for Jeff’s hair cut.  I purposefully chose cuts that mimicked the coarseness + curl of Jeff’s hair.  I never bring photos of inspiration for my hair because it’s always the same thing + Kayo gets bored of me.

Oh, Mr. Bradley Cooper, you’re not my type, the ladies LOOOVE you, but you’re fluent in French + what fluffy locks you have!



Why, Mr. Paul Rudd, your coif is as jubilant as your comic performances are!!!!










After our hair cuts, we traveled over to the Japanese American National Museum for their Oshogatsu Family Festival!!!!  New Year’s celebration!!!  Admission was free to the museum, + there were a lot of activities + crafts for families to enjoy!!!  What a great way to get the community together!  This museum is the best!







My favorite was the Onigiri Art Contest.  Onigiri are rice balls, wrapped in nori, (seasoned seaweed) + sometimes filled with pickled plums, salmon, etc.


















I would’ve chosen this guy as my numero uno!!!!


There was a balloon maker – I love the anticipation on the children’s faces.


A fancy pants candy sculpture maker.  Of course he’s dressed in a vest + artsy tie thingy!  He is a Japanese performance artist!!!!  Would you expect anything less?!  This guy was a serious crowd pleaser – a real pro.  He is in the process of making a unicorn, people!


Only in Little Tokyo would there be a kid with a cold wearing a mask.  So cute + not creepy like when adults wear them.  Go Asians!!!


Of course Jeff’s favorite part was the 1963 Corvette split window coupe designed by Japanese American, Larry Shinoda.  Look at his face, it’s like, “Droool.”.

Had to get the dragon in there.  This was part of the current exhibit, Drawing the Line – which showcases Japanese American art in Los Angeles, post WWII.  Drawing the Line is part of Southern California’s Pacific Standard Time .  The Japanese American National Museum also has an AMAZING permanent exhibit on the history of the Japanese American in the United States.  There is a lot of information on the incarceration of the Japanese into the remote, desolate + ill-equipped internment camps.  After their release, most families never returned to their past residences + all property + land ownership was gone.  Communities were never the same again.  Do not forget this embarrassing + horrific part of American history!!!  The first time I visited this museum I cried because it is so well done + I am proud to be Japanese American.  The Nikkei museum in Vancouver is like an 1/16 the size, it is so sad!!!  Vancouver – take heed!!!!  Go visit the Japanese American National Museum with your family!


When we made our way outside, taiko drums were pounding!  Sigh.  I’ve always wanted to play taiko drums.  Look at this gal, so happy.  So proud.  So content standing next to her drum.

It was Mochitsuki (Mochi making) Ceremony!  Mochi is pounded rice cake traditionally eaten at New Years.


YAAAAAAAY!!!  MOCHI!!!!  The little Obasan (auntie) in the front was the MC  + reminded Jeff of my mom – she really knew how to get the crowd pumped up for mochi!


Here is a video of the fun Mochitsuki Ceremony.  The crowd was loving it!  Enjoy!



3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Adrianna Benjamin #

    I think little Solomon missed his chance to be a little dragon baby by a few days (New Year’s is Jan. 20th, no?) oh well, he will have to be satisfied being a bunny! Looks like you guys had a great time!

    January 10, 2012

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