LTSCene – October 2018 - Budding Entrepreneurs Test the Waters of Little Tokyo Business - Little Tokyo Service Center

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October 2018 Issue

Budding Entrepreneurs Test the Waters of Little Tokyo Business

Darin Maki of Crft by Maki for LTSCene

Darin Maki of Crft by Maki. Photo credit: Jesse Koester of Sunshine Pictures LLC.

There’s just no substitute for hands-on experience.

With this in mind, LTSC, in partnership with the Sustainable Little Tokyo community initiative, launched a pilot program to give up-and-coming entrepreneurs the chance to use free retail pop-up space in Little Tokyo. The Small business incubator program @LASmallBizcubator makes use of the LTSC’s 341 FSN property and allows small businesses to connect with the neighborhood’s rich entrepreneurial history.

The program’s first two participants Jeffrey Ozawa of Tenzo and Darin Maki of Crft by Maki utilized the pop-up space for short (four and six day) stints in September. Tenzo is a catering company with a culinary branch. Crft by Maki is a clothing apparel brand.

“It gave them an opportunity to figure out what works and get feedback, but also to directly interact with a community that wants to support younger entrepreneurs that care about the history of the neighborhood,” said LTSC Business Counselor Mariko Lochridge. Lochridge said people were impressed by how much the business owners cared about Little Tokyo.

Another round of entrepreneurs will also use the 341 FSN space for longer periods in December 2018 and January 2019. For more information, contact Mariko Lochridge at 213-473-1658 or

Watch this video on Jeffrey Ozawa of Tenzo.

Read recent Rafu Shimpo articles on Jeffrey Ozawa and Darin Maki.

Honda Fundraiser Will Benefit LTSC

Are you interested in enjoying an elegant dining experience while helping to support LTSC and our programs? On Saturday, Nov. 3, Honda will host a special event to raise funds for LTSC and the El Camino College FoundationBuy tickets now and enjoy private dining at Napa Rose, the signature restaurant of Disney California’s Hotel and Spa in Anaheim.

All ticket proceeds will benefit LTSC and the El Camino College Foundation. Click Napa Rose for more information.

Little Tokyo Community Revives Iconic Atomic Café

Nikkei Progressives organizing meeting inside 341 FSN

In its heydey, Little Tokyo’s Atomic Café was a popular haven for the LA punk scene, neighborhood locals, junkies, mobsters, city politicians and world class artists. Though it closed its doors in 1989, DJ Atomic Nancy and the Little Tokyo community gave the Atomic Café one last spin at a dance party in late September.

The event marked the closing of ART@341 FSN, a program organized by the Sustainable Little Tokyo (SLT) community initiative. The SLT program was the first in a series of community programs to be held at LTSC +LAB’s 341 FSN. 341 FSN is an experimental space on Little Tokyo’s historic First Street intended to advance community control and self-determination. LTSC +LAB owns and operates 341 FSN, which provides a unique asset for promoting neighborhood and community engagement.

Since kicking off in March 2018, 341 FSN has hosted 45 events with the help of 64 volunteers and over 1,600 attendees.

Annual Luncheon Coming Soon

A3M Annual Luncheon Coming Soon

A3M Annual Luncheon

Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) will have its first Giving Hope Luncheon at Los Verdes Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 at 11 a.m.

A3M has always been about second chances and giving hope to patients in search of a marrow donor. Our patients, in turn, give us the strength and inspiration to continue our mission of increasing and diversifying the Be the Match registry.

Join us in celebrating the first meeting between patient and donor. Our patient was diagnosed with a genetic blood disorder shortly after birth. Nearly a decade later, A3M registered the potential donor who became a match. On this day, we will also be celebrating Dr. Auayporn Nademanee as she continues to be a huge supporter of A3M and bone marrow patients. For over 15 years, she has directed Matched Unrelated Donor program at City of Hope’s Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute, which includes the Toni Stephenson Lympoma Center, Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research and Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research.

Your support keeps our patients and their families strong!

Please join us at our Hope Luncheon. To register, please go to Giving Hope 2018 First Annual Luncheon.

Click here for the A3M Fall 2018 newsletter.

Get Your Teams Together for San Tai San

The third annual San Tai San co-ed basketball tournament

San Tai San co-ed basketball tournament

The third annual San Tai San co-ed basketball tournament is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tournament will be held at Pecan Recreation Center in Boyle Heights with all proceeds going to Terasaki Budokan. This is a unique event that is organized by a small group of volunteers that wanted to help support the project. Come join us for some good fun and competition. Space is limited, but there is still time to sign up. Visit to register what could be the 2018 San Tai San Championship team.

Tomorrow: Asian Small Business Expo

Asian Small Business Expo

Asian Small Business Expo

Don’t miss the FREE Asian Small Business Expo “Growing Your Business Online: Standing Out in the Digital World” on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Quiet Cannon in Montebello.

The event offers a great opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, franchises and governmental and legislative representatives.

Register at:

Walk-ins on the day of the expo are welcome.

LTSC Youth Participate in Sculptural Tree Workshop

LTSC Youth Participate in Sculptural Tree Workshop

Sculptural Tree Workshop

In conjunction with the FandangObon community festival, LA Arboretum and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center hosted a workshop at LTSC’s Casa Heiwa affordable housing community entitled “Arboles De Las Vidas (Trees of Lives).”

Several youths and their family member’s created sculptural trees made out of woven sustainable and reused materials. The trees can be used as both decoration or climbing trellises for the Casa Heiwa garden.

Japanese Students Learn Community-based Approach to Social Services at LTSC

Japanese Students Learn Community-based Approach to Social Services at LTSC

LTSC’s community-based approach to Social Services

Last month, 30 students of Psychology from Seitoku University in Chiba, Japan experienced LTSC’s community-based approach to Social Services. As a part of the school’s overseas study tour, future therapists visit various agencies and organizations in California to broaden their understanding of social services. LTSC has been one of the main hosts of this tour for over a decade.

Learning about the history of LTSC as well as LA’s Japanese Americans, the students expressed an understanding of the importance of a community-based approach in social services fields. The students were also educated in the differences between the U.S. and Japan in terms of domestic violence, parenting, child abuse and family laws. An LTSC social worker shared some practices that are still widely acceptable in Japan, but considered problematic in the U.S., such as spanking children for discipline or bathing with your children.

The students realized how crucial such educational workshops were. As the world gradually becomces borderless, these future therapists are determined to apply the skills they learned to their field of work.

Check Out the A3PCON November 2018 Voter Guide

A3PCON November 2018 Voter Guide

A3PCON November 2018 Voter Guide

The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) has published its November 2018 election voter guide—focused on initiatives that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. A3PCON is an umbrella coalition of service providers for the Asian and Pacific Islander community throughout LA County, and LTSC has been a member since its inception.

This is an election of huge importance to the country and to the people and communities that we serve.

Click here to view the guide and remember, Oct. 22 is the last day to register to vote online.

Community Creates Investment Fund to Protect Little Tokyo

Community Creates Investment Fund to Protect Little Tokyo

Community Creates Investment Fund to Protect Little Tokyo

Strengthening Little Tokyo” is a key program area for LTSC.

Accordingly, LTSC is pleased to join other community advocates to support the the launch of a Little Tokyo real estate investment fund. The Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund is intended to help maintain the cultural legacy of the neighborhood in the face of expanded public transportation, gentrification and other forces.

Fund managers will look to purchase and manage properties for the purpose of supporting heritage-based businesses and properties in Little Tokyo. The Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund is an “S” corporation and is now ready to accept investment dollars.

Click here for more information on the initiative.

Green Tip

New recycle icon of Little Tokyo Service Center

Vehicles emit 90 percent of Southern California’s air pollutants. Try public transit for cleaner air.



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

September 2018 Donors

America Travel Factory
Elizabeth Burton
Ben and Toshiko Ebihara
Yas and Nancy Gohata
Lisa Hasegawa
Jessica Kanai
Song Kim
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Yuriko Mchatten
Kaoru Nakagawa
Gail and Mitchell Matsumura
Taeko Okada
Yosuke Ouchi
Prescott College
Tokiko Sugimoto
Nikki Kealalio Sutton
Katie Tanijiri
Keith Umemoto
Sally Yamashita
Michiko Yamazaki
Gloria Zwibel

In Honor of Mabel Fujita Harman
Thomas and Eleanor Huang
Jeanne Raya and Humberto Flores
Lawrence and Ellen Yano

In Memory of Tomi Akahori
Ted Akahori

In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily and Dan Weaver

In Memory of Rev. Howard Toriumi
Roger Stephens and Laura Toriumi Stephens

Terasaki Budokan

Laura Blosser and Chris Argyros
Richard Dunn Family Foundation
Seiji and Nell Itahara
Scott Ito and Nan Lee
Mary Kamiya
Keiko Kuida
Kathy and Mark Masaoka
Brent Mori and Jessie Kikuchi
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Jennifer Okutake
Sugimoto Family Foundation: George, Ruri, Lisa, Nathan
Grant Sunoo and Emily Maeda
Nikki Kealalio Sutton
Andy Wong

In Honor of Andy K. and Keiko Fukui
Alex H. Fukui

In Memory of Philip Ito
Richard and Patricia Mori

In Memory of Bobby Iwashita
Joyce and Randy Takahashi

In Memory of Ted Matsuda
Friends and Family of Ted Matsuda

In Memory of Judy Nishimoto Ota

In Memory of Kazuo Shinzato
Marian and Frank Sata

In-kind Donations

Adina Mori-Holt and Whitman Holt
Tom Sogi
Marsha and Gary Watanabe

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