Rubik's Cube Showdown: Nisei Week Opens

Watch some of the pros of the click-it-quick form, in Little Tokyo.

The colors of the Rubik's Cube — the reds and blues and greens and oranges and yellows and whites — have become iconic over the decades, it's true.

But let us also pause to pay touchable tribute to how each square feels under the pads of our fingers.

Hold the slightly-bigger-than-a-palm toy and, immediately, you can feel each distinct square, and the larger side grids that contain nine squares each. Nothing else feels like it, which is a perk, since Rubik's Cube fans spend a lot of time turning it over and over in hopes that all of the squares eventually match up.

Exception to the "lot of time" rule? The competitors in the Rubik's Cube showdowns that take place around the globe. These talented cube wielders aren't going to spend too long getting a tactile sense of the cube; rather, they're busy lining up all of those squares, hue by hue, with seemingly flying hands.

If you've only ever witnessed such feats online or TV, there's a chance to root for this cube-ruling titans in person, on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center plaza.

It's the Nisei Week Rubik's Cube Open, overseen by the World Cube Association, and it opens Nisei Week Japanese Festival, a week-plus event that includes parades, performances, and a few memorable contests (hello, gyoza eating).

And we do mean "opens," for the Rubik's Cube event is scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. on Aug. 19. That means, if you're participating, you'll need to limber up those fingers bright 'n early.

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The Rubik's Cube, which was invented by Erno Rubik, has been around for well over four decades now, drawing in new fans determined to solve its chromatic challenge in well under a minute. Or under five minutes. Or just solve it, however long it might take.

Are you still working on your cube, the one you got back in '82? Big props.

Happy Nisei Week, to all of the attendees and participants, and good luck to those Rubik's Cube masters, the people who know the cube so well they can almost feel what their next turn or twist should be, just by touch.

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