LTSCene – July/Aug 2020 - Little Tokyo Service Center

Little Tokyo Service Center


July and August 2020 Issue

Help Celebrate our 40th Anniversary!

40th Anniversary

40th Anniversary


Mark your calendars! Tune in to our virtual 40th anniversary gala’s live premiere on Saturday, October 10, 2020, at 6 p.m. The evening will showcase LTSC’s 40 years of service, share our vision for the future, and celebrate the spirit of collaboration that fortifies our work. 

Don’t miss out on this celebration! Hear from 2020 Honorees Alan Nishio and Supervisor Hilda Solis, celebrate the life of Dean Matsubayashi (LTSC’s late Executive Director), jam along to talented musical performances, and win great items in our silent auction!

However, big or small, your contribution makes a difference! There are many ways to support:

  • Register (FREE) to attend before October 1, 2020, and be entered into a raffle to win a Little Tokyo gift card bundle (valued at $100).
  • Purchase tributes to our distinguished honorees (virtual toast, send a tribute message, or sit at an honoree’s virtual table).
  • Bid in our silent auction starting Monday, October 5, 2020, at 8 a.m.
  • Donate to support LTSC’s work – even $10 makes a difference!
  • Spread the word – share with family and friends!


Click Here to Attend!


We want to thank our sponsors for helping make this event happen.

Positive Change Sponsor

Aratani Foundation

Omoiyari Sponsor

City National Bank

City National Bank

Keith & Cecelia Terasaki Family Foundation

Vibrant Neighborhoods Sponsor

Bank of America

Bank of America

Barker Management Inc.

Barker Management Inc.

Union Bank

Union Bank

Walton Construction Inc.

Walton Construction Inc.

Home is Little Tokyo Sponsor

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

NeighborWorks America

Nonprofit Partners

Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

Genesis LA

Manufacturer’s Bank

Alan & Yvonne Nishio

40 for 40

US Bank

US Bank

Changing Tides to Host Resilience and Wellness Workshops

Fall Workshop Series

Fall Workshop Series

Changing Tides, a Little Tokyo Service Center program, is on a mission to normalize positive mental health in our community. They will be hosting a four-part Resilience and Wellness Workshop series online this fall. Each workshop will begin with a psychoeducational component where a concept and concrete practice/skill will be taught. Partnering with therapists and mental health professionals from the AAPI community to facilitate, participants will also have an opportunity to practice the skill, followed by a group discussion and sharing session.

Dates: Tuesdays (bi-weekly) September 15th & 29th, October 13th & 27th
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom
Cost: Free

We hope to see you there!

Check out their Instagram @ltsc_changingtides and website for Zoom links and more information. 

Volunteer at LTSC!

LTSC Eats Group

LTSC Eats Group

We’re looking for new volunteers! Sign-up to help deliver much-needed food and supplies to seniors and families in our community. You can help provide supplies from our food pantry and/or hot meals from local restaurants. Please over 18 years old and under 65.

You can help with our Little Tokyo Eats program. At the pandemic onset, LTSC collaborated with Keiro and Little Tokyo Community Council to deliver subsidized dinners to in-need Little Tokyo seniors. We need your help to provide these meals three times a week to 110 seniors per day.  

In addition to Little Tokyo Eats, we deliver fresh produce and non-perishable food items from our food pantry to seniors and low-income residents and families who are part of our childcare programs. LTSC maintains a food pantry to support the needs and dietary preferences of people in our community. This makes sure those in our community always have access to culturally familiar, nutritious meals and supplies.

Fill up this form to Sign-up.

Atomic Cafe Movie Premiere

Atomic Cafe

Atomic Cafe

Serving American diner, Chinese and Japanese cuisines to a diverse group of patrons, Ito and Minoru Matoba opened the Atomic Cafe in 1946. Fast forward to 1961, when they moved locations to First and Alameda Streets in Little Tokyo. In the late 1970s, Ito and Minoru’s daughter, Nancy, took over the front of the house, and the cafe started building the infamous reputation it has today. 

Nancy was involved in the emerging punk rock scene and put up posters of local bands and stocked the jukebox with classic punk and new wave tunes. The cafe quickly became the go-to haunt for Los Angeles’ punk community, and several musicians even referenced the restaurant in songs. However, their doors shut for good in 1989, leaving an indelible mark on the Little Tokyo community. Sadly the building which housed the cafe was demolished in January 2015 to create a new subway station. 

Continuing our cultural preservation mission, LTSC, through our +LAB program, commissioned a short film about the Atomic Cafe. We are excited to announce the premiere of this documentary on Sunday, September 27. Stay tuned to our Facebook or Instagram pages for the premiere link and more information. 

UCLA Students Help Little Tokyo Small Business

LTSC paired a team of UCLA students studying in the MBA program

LTSC paired a team of UCLA students studying in the MBA program

Recently, LTSC paired a team of UCLA students studying in the MBA program with two Little Tokyo small businesses. Together they worked over eight weeks to create marketing strategies to weather the current economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

LTSC selected the Rafu Bussan and TaNoTa Takoyaki businesses to be participants and meet remotely once a week with the students to gather information and review ideas. LTSC’s small business counselors acted as guides to the students who quickly learned about the business owners’ issues and why it’s important to support the Little Tokyo community. 

Several of the students mentioned they were impressed by the business owners’ resilience, adaptability, and passion. They also stated having a unique sense of satisfaction by helping these businesses and continuing the rich heritage of legacy businesses in Little Tokyo.

The eight weeks culminated in the four UCLA students putting together a presentation of their findings and recommendations to the business owners. After a lot of research, benchmarking and drawing from case studies, the team recommended an exhaustive list of pricing strategies, digital marketing techniques and engagement strategies. We want to thank the UCLA students for all their hard work to keep Little Tokyo an economically vibrant community. 

Fumanet for Seniors Wraps Up

Fumanent Classes

Fumanent Classes

At the beginning of the summer, to keep our seniors connected, engaged and physically active, we offered fumanet classes once a week. Fumanet is a Japanese exercise that combines music, movement and memory. During shelter in place we encouraged community members to stay active and connected to others for the wellbeing of their physical and mental health. 

We want to thank MoCA for letting us use their space for these small group activities. One participant who was blind enjoyed the class using her whole body to keep balance and avoid stepping on the grid with the instructor’s gentle guidance. 

Stay tuned to for updates concerning senior activities in Little Tokyo and the South Bay


LTSC Zines

LT Zines

LT Zines

We’ve been making zines (a printed magazine of original art and writing) to give residents in Little Tokyo a little something to do and feel less lonely while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two issues of the zine are available to download now. They feature art, poetry and short pieces of writing in five different languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese). 

Right now, we are looking for submissions to include in the third issue. We’re also offering $50 gift card rewards for selected submissions from residents living in Angelina, Casa Heiwa, Little Tokyo Towers, Far East, Daimaru, and San Pedro Firm Building. We can accept up to 1 submission per individual and up to 2 submissions per household. The deadline is September 25, 2020, and you can submit through our A GREENER WORLD ZINE page.

June & July Donors

Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!
Add your name to the list by making a DONATION today.

Don and Lynn Akamine
Yasunori Arakaki
Dennis Arguelles
Atsushi Ashizawa
Elizabeth Burton
Annette Cai
The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
Henry Chai
Wendy Chen
Christina Chiu
T.C. and Elaine Chung
Angie Cimarusti
Annmarie Cong
Consulate General of Japan
Samantha de Castro
Jeffrey and Lorraine Dohzen
Ernest and Kiyo Doizaki
Elite Graphics
Catherine and Stuart Chuck
Gary Eto
Jennifer Fukunaga
Leslie Furukawa
John Gunawan
Brent Gutierrez
Elaine Harada
Mieko Harrington
Lisa Hasegawa
Michiko Higa
The Paul S. Honda Foundation
Jenny Huynh
Takahiro Ide
Brenton Inouye
Sarah Jin
Dick and Pauline Kaku
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Alan Kawa
Rosalyn Kawahira
Shinichiro Kawasaki
Dawn and Alan Kita
Carolyn Kobayashi
Janet Kurihara
Masao and Peggy Kushigemachi
Quinn Le
Oliver Lee
Seol Lee
Little Tokyo Towers
Duane Luu
Susan Maki
Gary and June Masada
Diana and Yoshi Matsushima
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Sahara Buying Club
Nichole Mihara and Gregory Harrison
Mitsugi Miyakawa
Margaret Moy
Ken and Priscilla Mui
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Terry Ikeda
Nicole Murph
Megan Nagasaki
Jonathan Nagayama
James Nakamura
Laurie Nakano
Christine Nguyen
Van Nguyen
Elaine Nishizu
Northrop Grumman Foundation
Craig and Cindy Ogawa
John Okita and Michiko Yamamoto
Kazushi Omura
Oomasa Restaurant
OCO’s Walk the Farm
PayPal Giving Fund
Alecsis Pesantez
Jason Radspinner
Robin Vanneman
Rotary Club of Little Tokyo
Roy Sakamoto
Glenn and Donna Sanada
Kitty Sankey
Gail Sharp
Margaret and Ken Shimada
Paul and Kay Shishima
Amber Skoien
Nikki Kealalio Sutton
Linda Taing
Esther Taira
Kelly Takasu
Yuka Takeuchi
Estrella To
Carolyn Tokunaga
James Toma
Jenny Tran
Anna Truong
Keith Umemoto
Momoyo Walters
Marsha and Gary Watanabe
Candace and Kenneth Watase
John Wie
Nicole Willms
Lesley and Russell Wong
Koji Yamamoto
Sally Yamashita
Gerald and Anne Yee
Catherine Yen
Jeff Yonemura
Betty Yoshimura
Nolan Young

In Honor of Nelly & Mitchel Bordbar

In Honor of Isako Kunishima
Jennifer Yun

In Honor of Shoichi Omoto

In Honor of Minoru Taguchi (1928-2017)
Dan Taguchi

In Honor of Akira and Fuku Watanabe
Robert and Carol Watanabe

In Memory of May Masako Arakaki
Susan R. Manzo
Wayne S. Nakamura
Bill Seki
Stuart Tsujimoto
Rose Wong
Tim Yoshitake
Teri and Mako Yoshitake
Daniel Zeidler

In Memory of The Chotaro Ito Family
Eric and Chris Kodama

In Memory of Susie Emi

In Memory of Emiko Hirano
Judy Chen

In Memory of Kikue Imamura
Hanako Footman

In Memory of Alice Kikkawa
Bryon Wada

In Memory of Dean Matsubayashi
Junko Goda

In Memory of David Y. Miyashita
Marivic A. Miyashita

In Memory of Takako Yoshimoto Morita
John Fukushima
Micki Fukushima & Families
Suzy Katsuda
Glen and Chiae Kitayama
Delcene Kuwata
Yuki Morita and Family
Toyoko and Yoshito Nakahara
Donna Nakashima
Sharon and Robin Nakazaki
Hideko Noriyuki
Tom and Carol Ono
Peggy Saika and Arthur Chen
Grennie Uchida
Karen Watanabe
Robert Watanabe
Gayle and Craig Wong

In Memory of George Nakasone
Cathie Nakasone

In Memory of Judy Nishimoto-Ota
Barbara Nishimoto

In Memory of Fuji, Mas and Sally Okabe
The Okabe Family

In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily and Dan Weaver

In Memory of Sachiye Takamoto
Stephanie and Kevin Higa

Terasaki Budokan
Akemi Arakaki and Takao Suzuki
Laura Blosser and Chris Argyros
The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
Dianne and Bill Doi
Jan Fukuhara Dyck
Helen Funai Erickson
The Furuya Foundation
Viki Goto
Janet Hasegawa-Chu and Cliff Chu
Alan Hino
Mike Iwanaga
Ryan Iwasaka
Japanese American Bar Association
Japanese American Optimist Club
Masamitsu and Noriko Kamimoto
Cain Kataoka and Denise Okimoto
Chester and Eileen Kido
Don and Cheryl Kikkawa
Jessie Kikuchi and Brent Mori
Steffeni and Kelly Kikuta
Noel Kinoshita
Glen and Joyce Komatsu
Debbie Kotani
Jenni Kuida and Tony Osumi
Leland Lau
Norman and Mardy Maehara
Melissa Nishimura
Kimi Maru
Janice and Dean Matsunaga
Mike and Wendy Miyashima
Jed Miyashiro
Brandon Morita
Ken and Priscilla Mui
Hiroko Higuchi
Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai
Milton Noji
Dianne and Richard Odagawa
Mickie Okamoto and Geoffrey Tsudama
Ronald Okubo
Shoichi and Ayumi Omoto
Pasadena Bruins
POM Wonderful, Inc
Jason and Rachelle Samson
San Fernando Valley JACC
Alex and Dalina Sasayama
Sugimoto Family Foundation: George, Ruri, Lisa, Nathan
Julie Sunabe
Grant Sunoo and Emily Mayeda
Andrew Tani
Kira Conlon
Yuri Uehara and Steven Jabami
Loana dp Valencia
Marsha and Gary Watanabe
Emily and Dan Weaver
Lynn Whitcher
Yoshiyuki and Juriko Yamada
Michael and Lilly Yanagita
Jayne and Gideon Young Family

In Memory of Shiro Ebihara
Jeffrey Ebihara

In Memory of George Kurisu
Leland Kurisu

In Memory of Dean Matsubayashi
Jeanne Akashi

In Memory of Sam Shigeru Miyamoto
Julie Sunabe

In Memory of Monica Quan
Randall and Sylvia Quan

In Memory of John Sogi

In Memory of DJ Hideo Sugano
Lance and Mimi Shoho

In Memory of Denny Sunabe
Raymond Fujii

In Memory of Steve Yano
Zoe Kumagai

Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches
Christine Chang
Community of Korean Women Mizville, Inc.

In-kind Donations
Centre Urban Real Estate Partners
Cure Apparel, LLC
Terrence Dekretser
Office of Councilmember Jose Huizar
Gene and Vickie Kanamori
Kyle Kawakami
Sharon and George Lopez
Diana and Yoshi Matsushima
Diego Negrete
Mickie Okamoto-Tsudama and Geoffrey Tsudama
Sanrio, Inc.
Sharon Maruya Shin of Papermum Press
Jill Tahara
Vitasoy North America
Lisa Yamanouye

Vehicle Donations
Michelle Kwong
Traci and Eric Murata
Esther and George Sakatani
Hiroko Shiroishi
Eiko Yoshioka

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