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Community Screening of Japan Tour DVD held on October 4th in Downtown Los Angeles

Members from Grateful Crane’s 2014 Goodwill Tour to Tohoku and Hiroshima sang songs from the tour at a community screening event held on Saturday, October 4 at Nishi Hongwanji Los Angeles Betsuin. Pictured from l-r are: Scott Nagatani (piano) and tour members Jason Fong, Haruye Ioka, Keiko Kawashima, Mary Kageyama Nomura and Kurt Kuniyoshi.

Approximately 100 community members enjoyed the songs and viewed a screening of the tour DVD, which featured group members singing songs for tsunami survivors in the Tohoku cities of Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki and Tome, and for atomic bomb survivors and local residents in Hiroshima.

Tour members Jason Fong, June Hayashi and Keiko Kawashima shared their experiences as well as Darrell Miho of Ai Love Japan, who served as the tour’s videographer/photographer and Tohoku liaison.

After the songs and testimonials, members of the group took several questions from the audience, many of whom were supporters of Grateful Crane’s “Playground of Hope” project in Ishinomaki.

“It’s not often that I get to see where my donation is going,” said one supporter afterwards.

“Momotaro Stories and Books Songs” performed at The Huntington Library in San Marino on October 11th

Grateful Crane presented its “Momotaro Stories and Book Songs” program as part of a “Celebration of Stories” event held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens on Saturday, October 11 in San Marino. Pictured after the presentation of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” are cast members Aaron Aoki, Keiko Kawashima, Darrell Kunitomi, Haruye Ioka and Kurt Kuniyoshi. Musical Director Scott Nagatani accompanied the group on keyboards.

Presented in three segments, the group performed “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “Tanabat,” “Momotaro: The Peach Boy” and Scott Nagatani’s “Book Songs” in front of groups of young children and their families as well as adult visitors to The Huntington.

“This was the first time we have taken this show outside of our Japanese American community,” said Soji Kashiwagi, Executive Producer of the Grateful Crane Ensemble. “It’s our way of sharing the Japanese culture with a broader audience. I’m happy to report that our show was very well received by the young and young at heart.”

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