Day 227: Nisei Week

Manichi Ramen

Manichi Ramen

We did a family trip to Little Tokyo today to celebrate Nisei Week. It’s the 75th celebration and even though we’re in the middle of a heatwave, we had a fantastic time.

Admission to the Japanese American National Museum was free today, so we checked out the current exhibitions. First was Sugar/Islands: Finding Okinawa in Hawai’i – The Art of Laura Kina and Emily Hanako Momohara, which featured paintings and photographs documenting the migrant workers in Hawai’i. Next was Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images, a fantastic collection of candid photographs of Japanese Americans fighting in WWII. I really liked this exhibition, since it showed the day-to-day lives of the soldiers and it also touched on the dilemma facing most of the soldiers: they were fighting for a country that sent most of their families into concentration camps.

Of course, in between all of the sightseeing and museum-ing, we did some eating. On our way there, we stopped at 85 Degrees for pastries and ice coffees, then noshed on ramen, mochi, poke, and ice cream. Yes, even the heatwave didn’t stop us from scarfing down bowls of hot ramen from Manichi Ramen, as shown above.

Day 193: Nepal Cultural Festival


My wife and I love the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. We attended a few of their Fusion Friday events last summer and today’s Nepal Cultural Festival and Earthquake Relief Fund was our first visit this year.

The festival happened to fall on Second Sunday, when the museum offers free admission. We made the trip before noon and were treated to traditional and fusion Nepalese music and dance. There were a few crafts tables where you could make your own Nepalese mask and one of our favorite food trucks, the India Jones Chow Truck, was there.

Of course, a trip to the museum wouldn’t be complete without a walk through the museum itself. We liked the copies of Snakes and Ladders that were available for play; as explained here, the ancient game originated in India and is still played by children today in its modern version, Chutes and Ladders.

We enjoyed the Visualizing Enlightenment: Decoding the Buddhist Iconography exhibition. This exhibit featured a six-foot Buddha wood carving from over 500 years ago, with an explanation of its details.

The weather warmed up as the day wore on, but the pleasant vibe kept everyone in good spirits, as performers and audience mingled and danced together in the courtyard. It was a good-for-the-soul Sunday Funday.