Taiko of West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple

On March 12, 2011, West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Taiko performed at the 2011 Sawtelle Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri). The event featured not only the taiko group but also the Sawtelle Gakuin students at their annual field day event (Undo Kai). The community honored two pioneers, Miyoko Shimahara and Harry Kobashigawa. Consul General Junichi Ihara was present to deliver a message on the recent tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A one minute moment of silence was observed to reflect on the tragedy befallen the Japanese around Sendai, Japan. WLA Taiko was a welcome addition to the events of the day. Many students witnessed their performance as well as inquired about specifics such as how to get to play taiko, how to join the class, where and when do you practice, and where can I get a taiko? Even the parents appeared to enjoy seeing and listening to the group. Consul General of Japan, Junichi Ihara, commented in his opening remarks that the Japanese Government will be celebrating 100 years of cherry tree donations in the Washington, D.C. basin with an additional donation in 2012. Witnessing the many cherry trees at Stoner Park and accompanied by Harry Kobashigawa, 90 year old caretaker of the trees for many years, Consul General Ihara was impressed and would like to see some of the donations to Southern California shared by Sawtelle’s Stoner Park.