LTSCene – May 2018 – Save the Date for Annual Sake Event - Little Tokyo Service Center
Chosen logo for LTSCene by Little Tokyo Service Center


May 2018 Issue

Save the Date:

Shake on the Rocks

Little Tokyo Service Center will host its 12th Annual Sake & Food Tasting Event on Friday, July 20, 2018, 7-10 p.m. at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) Plaza, 244 South San Pedro Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 (between 2nd and 3rd St.). The event will feature a wide array of sake, provided by Mutual Trading Co., Inc., and delicious small plates from top LA restaurants. Tickets will go on sale June 1. For more information, visit

LTSC Holds Corporate Responsibility Event

Takuya Hirano

Takuya Hirano, president of Microsoft Japan, speaks with event attendees.

On April 30, LTSC held a seminar entitled “Community Building: Nikkei Businesses and Corporate Social Responsibility” at the Toyota Meeting Hall in Torrance. The event, which drew over 250 attendees, focused on Japanese and Japanese American business perspectives on corporate social responsibility and local community building.

“Corporate social responsibility” describes efforts on the part of companies to drive social change and give back to their communities.

The event featured an onstage interview of Takuya Hirano, president of Microsoft Japan, by Kaori Iida, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) Los Angeles bureau chief. The interview was followed by a discussion with panelists Hirano; Yayoi Sato, manager, International Partnerships and Client Services, Los Angeles Dodgers; Mitsuyasu Shigeta, founder and owner of the Shin-Sen-Gumi Group; and Yoichi Komiyama, CEO and chairman of Lighthouse with Iida serving as moderator.

Thank You to LTSC’s Legacy Partners

Aiko Kawaratani

LTSC Executive Director Dean Matsubayashi with Legacy Partner Aiko Kawaratani, holding a picture of her late husband Kiyoshi “Skip” Kawaratani

LTSC held a luncheon in Little Tokyo last month to recognize and thank our Legacy Partners. Legacy Partners are a dedicated group of donors who have named Little Tokyo Service Center in their will or estate plan.

These donors have made a commitment to ensuring LTSC can serve future generations. At the lunch, we recognized Mrs. Aiko Kawaratani’s extraordinary legacy gift to the Paul I. Teraskai Budokan’s capital campaign.

For more information about becoming a Legacy Partner, please call Julie Itahara at 213-473- 3027 or click here.

Save the Date: Annual Asian Small Business Expo

Annual Asian Small Business Expo 2018

The Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (API SBP), a partner organization of LTSC, will hold the Annual Asian Small Business Expo 2018 on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 901 Via San Clemente, Montebello, CA 90640. The theme for this year’s event is “Growing Your Business Online: Standing Out in the Digital World.”

The event is free to attend and offers outstanding workshops and networking opportunities. Click Asian Small Business Expo for more information.

Little Tokyo Artist Residency Program Kicks Off

Little Tokyo Artist Residency Program Kicks Off

From left: LTSC Director of Planning Grant Sunoo, Fellow Susu Attar, Fellow Tina Takemoto, Program Consultant Clayton Campbell, Fellow Kuniharu Yoshida, Fellow Dan Kwong and LTSC Community Organizer Yasue Katsuragi

LTSC’s +LAB Artist Residency Program officially kicked off on May 1 with the arrival of the Artist Fellows at the Daimaru hotel. Through this program, four artists will spend three months living in Little Tokyo. They are hosted by local community organizations. During their residency, the artists will engage with Little Tokyo stakeholders to create projects that contemplate themes tied to community control and self-determination.

Come visit the artists in their workspace at 341 E. First Street (ground floor of the Daimaru hotel) or follow their progress on LTSC’s social media channels. For more information about the residency, click Artist Residency Program.

Through the Seasons: Mindfulness and Mental Health

Through the Seasons: Mindfulness and Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Spring edition of LTSC’s social services newsletter Through the Seasons explores mindfulness, “the practice of being aware of your body, mind and feelings in the present moment, with thoughts to create a feeling of calm.” Click Spring_18 to read the full article (p.3).

Angelina Preschool Holds Open House

Little Tokyo Service Center Open House Event

Last month, Angelina Preschool welcomed families of current and prospective students to meet the school’s teachers and learn how the school prepares children for kindergarten and beyond. Parents and children participated in craft and other activities. Angelina’s program provides early care and education services Monday through Friday, full day (7 a.m.-5 p.m.), year-round (July 1-June 30). Angelina Preschool is currently enrolling. Click Childcare & Early Childhood Education for more information.

LTSC’s Recognizes Social Services Volunteers

LTSC’s Recognizes Social Services Volunteers

Last month, LTSC held a lunch ceremony to show appreciation for its dedicated social services volunteers. The social services department is supported by 70 volunteers, who help with everything from answering client phone calls, to actively listening to socially isolated seniors, providing translations, performing data entry, conducting workshops and classes and more.

Thank you, social services volunteers, for your hard work and commitment.

Angelina Apartments Basketball Tournament

ANG Basket Ball event for Little Tokyo Service Center

Tournament winners from left: Chris Pineola, Wayne Simpson, Teddy Flowers, Shaston Young and David Pineda

In April, LTSC held its 21st annual basketball tournament for residents of Angelina Apartments affordable housing community, located in the Temple Beaudry area of Echo Park. The tournament is open to athletes over 14-years-old. This year we had the most players in the history of the tournament participate. LTSC’s Resident Services organizes the tournament to bring the youth and young adults living in Angelina Apartments together for a fun day of sports, competition and camaraderie.

Small Business Workshop Series

Funding and Starting a small business Workshop

The Los Angeles Small Bizcubator, in partnership with Little Tokyo Service Center and the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, is launching a 10-part workshop series for entrepreneurs and e-commerce startups, entitled “Funding and Starting a Small Business: Marketing and Financial Knowledge to Launch Your Small Business.”

The workshop series will also prepare participants for an LA Small Bizcubator program, providing free retail pop-up space in Little Tokyo. Applicants who attend 70% of these workshops will receive preferred status in the application process for the LA Small Bizcubator retail pop-up space program.

Dates: Spring 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018 through Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Time: 6-9 p.m. including registration, workshop, Q&A and networking
Locations: Various venues in downtown Los Angeles and Little Tokyo

Click “Mapping Out a Business: Create a Business Plan (Part 1)” to register for the next workshop on May 15.

Green Tip

New recycle icon of Little Tokyo Service Center

Take your own reusable mug when buying coffee.


Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!

April 2018 Donors

Don and Lynn Akamine
Dennis Arguelles
Atsushi Ashizawa
Breckenridge Consulting Services
Elizabeth Burton
Consulate General of Japan
Jeffrey and Lorraine Dohzen
Everett and Gladys Endow
Jerry Fukui
Lisa Hasegawa
Dr. Kenji Irie
Harold and Carol Iwata
Jessica Kanai
Kathleen Kubota
Sidney and Hiroko Kunitake
Grace Maruyama
Gary and June Masada
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Janet and Henry Minami, Jr.
Taeko Okada
Jeri Okamoto-Tanaka
Kaoruko Sato
Keith Umemoto
USC Sigma Phi Omega
Gary Uyekawa
Midori Yamaguchi
Ken and Sandy Yamashiro
Linda and Gary Yamauchi

In Memory of Kaye Shoda Ishida
Patricia Ishida-Witscher and John Witscher

In Memory of Sachi Masaoka
Suzy Katsuda

In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily and Dan Weaver

Terasaki Budokan
Akemi Arakaki
Laura Blosser and Chris Argyros
Scott Ito and Nan Lee
Norman and Mardy Maehara
Brent Mori and Jessie Kikuchi
Adina Mori-Holt and Whitman Holt’
Panda Korman
Little Tokyo Historical Society
Ken and Priscilla Mui
Nikkei Women Legacy Association
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Grant Sunoo and Emily Maeda

Bill and Ruth Watanabe Director’s Office Campaign
Grant Din and Rosalyn Tonai
Jan Fukuhara Dyck
Miya Iwataki
Little Tokyo Historical Society

In Honor of the Ito Family
Lisa Okamoto

In Honor of Iris Teragawa
Nikkei Women Legacy Association

Vehicle Donations
Jenny Lai-Zamora
Henry Ota and Joanne Matsuda-Ota
Jushichiro Sudo
Kent Yamayoshi

In-kind Donations
Mitsuko Brooks
Kathy and Mark Masaoka
Ryoko Nakamura
Marsha and Gary Watanabe
Linda and Gary Yamauchi

Accessibility Tools