At-Home Fun

Nisei Week Will Celebrate Virtually in 2020

The iconic August event, known for its Taiko drumming and Ondo street dancing, will take place online.

Nisei Week

What to Know

  • Aug. 15-16 online (via Youtube)
  • Cooking demos, dance presentations, kids' activities
  • Free

If you plan your August weekend outings around attending Nisei Week, the venerable, history-amazing, and music-filled festivity in the heart of Little Tokyo, you're not alone.

The multi-day celebration, which includes something joyful and participatory for every age, has been a spirited staple of the neighborhood for several decades.

And the reasons why are clear: The Taiko drummers draw those people who love dramatic percussion, the Ondo street dance is a stirring sight, and marveling at the gyoza-eating championship is easy to do.

But more than anything, honoring and celebrating the Little Tokyo community is at the center of the much-loved, tradition-sweet event.

Such togetherness, in the usual in-person way, is canceled over the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic, but togetherness, as a moving and uplifting ideal, is still happening, happily.

For Nisei Week will dance on, virtually, with a host of to-dos that can be enjoyed from home on the weekend of Aug. 15-16, 2020.

"The two-day virtual series kick-off will include musical performances, culinary demonstrations, cultural demonstrations and programming related to traditional Nisei Week events, such as ondo dancing, the lively Japanese community dancing ritual typically hosted on Little Tokyo’s First Street during the Closing Ceremony," shared the foundation staff.

"The Nisei Week Foundation’s mission is to promote Japanese and Japanese American heritage and traditions while bringing together the diverse communities of Southern California through arts and cultural education," said David Yamahata, president of the Nisei Week Foundation.

"It is our hope that this special virtual series will serve as a platform to bring the matsuri spirit to everyone to enjoy."

Schedule details will become available in the first part of August, so keep an eye on this page.

And, of course, take time now to practice your Ondo dance technique, your Taiko stylings, and all of the things you love to see and do while taking part in this excellent and enduring community festival.

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