Japanese Cultural Night Becomes Tsunami Relief Fundraiser

“Sierra Madre Japanese Cultural Night,” at Memorial Park, 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., on Friday, March 25, from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. was planned so the community could enjoy authentic Japanese food and festivities.

The evening’s activities were to kick off with a Sumo wrestling demonstration by the Centurian Sumo Club. Former U.S. National Sumo Wrestling Champion Troy Collins, former was scheduled to attend the event.

Following the wrestling demonstration, Soma Nomaoi (Samurai Warriors) in historic garb was going take center stage, recreating an authentic Samurai battle scene.

According to the original agenda, at 6:00 p.m., Sierra Madre Mayor Joe Mosca would formally welcome the event’s special guests, the Honorable Junichi Ihara, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, Consul Shuichi Matsumoto, Mr. Satoshi Ichikawa and Mr. Hiroyuki Kimura of Tokyo City Keiba from Japan.

At 6:30 p.m., a stirring 45-minute performance of classical Japanese Taiko drumming by the acclaimed Hiroyuki Hayashida Taiko Trio was to round out the evening’s activities.

The plan was for residents to enjoy reasonably priced sushi, ramen noodles, fried rice, and dumplings offered by the Happy Cup Ramen Truck, the only roving truck serving authentic Asian snack foods in the Los Angeles area. Representatives of Yakult, producer of the world’s leading probiotics, will be on hand to distribute free beverage samples.

Then came the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns in Japan. Now, with the help of the American Red Cross, Sierra Madreans can make the most of this evening by contributing to the relief efforts assisting the victims of the Japanese disaster.

Those wishing to make a contribution to the Red Cross for the disaster relief effort in Japan may do so at Memorial Park, during the event. The Red Cross will have representatives at the park during the “Sierra Madre Japanese Cultural Night,” which the event participants requested go on as planned, out of honor and respect for the Japanese people as they cope with the devastation resulting from the earthquake and tsunami. All are invited to come to the park in a communal expression of solidarity and concern for our “neighbors to the west” in their time of need.

For updated information on the event programming which has changed because of the events in Japan, please call the Sierra Madre Public Library, 626-355-7186. Information is also available on the Sierra Madre City Facebook or website, www.cityofsierramadre.com. This event is sponsored by Tokyo City Keiba (TCK), Yakult USA, Santa Anita Park, and U.S. Equine, Inc.