Sashiko needlecraft is but one of a bajillion wonderful things about Japanese culture celebrated during Nisei Week, an annual exaltation of the contributions of the Japanese community in Los Angeles. The festival’s roots go back to its first incarnation in 1934 in the Little Tokyo district, historically one of the largest hubs of the Japanese-American community on the American mainland.
This weekend you can explore authentic Japanese art forms at a series of free workshops in Kimekomi Dolls, Nanpu Kai Bonsai and traditional Japanese brush painting Saturday and Sunday at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. While you’re there make sure to check out an exhibit of photographs by Tōyō Miyatake — who documented the tragedy faced by Little Tokyo during WWII, as well as the community’s strength, determination and survival. There’s a host of other events around town, like a Shōchū tasting, Kendo tournament and Ondo dance parade. So get out there and spread the Wa.