Nisei Week 2005
August 13-14  Los Angeles, CA
One of the longest running cultural festivals in the US is Nisei Week in Los Angeles, which
celebrated its 65th year in 2005.  Most of the festivities take place in Little Tokyo.  Events this
year included the Nikkei Games, a car show, The LA Tofu Festival, sumo wrestling, martial arts
competitions, a street arts festival, taiko drumming, and the centerpiece of all of it is the Grand
Parade.

For the past few years, an Anime Festival has been included as part of Nisei Week.  Like Little
Tokyo itself, the event has had its ups and downs and is undergoing a rebuilding process as
organizers try new things to attract attendees.  The event has had several different sponsors in
the past few years and has grown from a one-day event to a two-day festival.  The one-day
events in 2002 and 2003 drew a fair amount of anime fans and an anime section was introduced
into the Grand Parade.  In 2004, the event expanded to two days, but a change in sponsorship
and lack of publicity reduced the attendance.  This year, the same organizers planned a bigger
festival with more events and numerous stage shows.  Fans got the word out much earlier, but
nobody really knew how it would turn out since there was still a great deal of skepticism in the
community.

I've gone to the Nisei Week Festival for many years and I would not have missed it even if there
was no Anime Festival.  Since I love the smaller anime events as opposed to the huge, gigantic
conventions, I would be there to support this small event and capture as much of it as I could.