NEA Big Read Kick Off

Published : Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 1:54 PM

Pasadena Public Library presents the National Endowment for the Arts’ NEA Big Read. This month the library will feature programming designed around the book “When the Emperor Was Divine,” by author Julie Otsuka. On Saturday, February 3, from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., the Pasadena Central Library, kicks off the NEA Big Read.

Beginning at 11 a.m. in the Donald Wright Auditorium enjoy Makoto Taiko – Japanese Drums.

As a Pasadena-based community drum ensemble, Makoto Taiko seeks to unite people of all backgrounds in our local and global communities by preserving and sharing the spirit of Japanese Taiko drumming through performances, classes and other educational activities.

Taiko drumming creates a dynamic experience for performers and audience alike, connecting drumbeats with heartbeats. Makoto Taiko blends traditional Japanese drumming with western sounds through its repertoire.

The over 60 members that comprise the Makoto Taiko ensemble have performed throughout the United States and range in age from six to over 60, representing the variety of ethnic backgrounds and geographic diversity of the greater Los Angeles area.

Following the drum performance at 11:45 the Donald Wright Auditorium, Alan Miyatake, grandson of Manzanar photographer T?y? Miyatake, a Manzanar photographer, presents his grandfather’s photography and provides details on the photos from his collection displayed in the North Entry Display Cases.

At 1 p.m. in the Donald Wright Auditorium is a lecture on “Making Home Again: Japanese American Resettlement in Post-World War II Los Angeles”

Kristen Hayashi, Ph.D., doctoral candidate in History at the University of California, Riverside, presents her dissertation research, which examines the return and resettlement of Japanese Americans in post-WWII Los Angeles. Nearly 37,000 of the individuals interned during WWII lived in Los Angeles County, home to the largest concentration of Japanese Americans in the U.S.

While this history is now more widely known, far less is known about the subsequent resettlement period. How did Japanese Americans respond to the tremendous upheaval that the incarceration created? How did people restart their lives after losing so much? What types of challenges did returnees face? As the population essentially returned to its prewar size, how did Japanese American communities become reestablished in the greater Los Angeles area?

Hayashi will address these questions using her family’s story as well as those of other Japanese Angelenos as the lens to examine the wartime incarceration and the process of “making home again” during the early post-war period.

In the Great Hall (Southeast), from 2–4 p.m., the Haiku Guys + Gals create Haiku.

Haiku is a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into three lines of five, seven and five syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons. Join the Haiku Guys + Gals as they write improvised haiku poems for guests on their typewriters.

Presented by the Pasadena Museum of California Art from 2-4 p.m. in the Great Hall (Southwest), Reiyukai America creates origami.

Learn how to fold paper to make origami sculptures, and then create a special origami memory of your own.

Create A No-Sew Butterfly Book to Hold Special Memories from 3-5 p.m. in the Studio on 4th

World War II internees could only take with them what they could carry. Reflecting upon this and taking inspiration from the novel, this craft reminds us how a book recalling things left behind would help internees endure gaman, a Japanese term for persevering through an unbearable situation with dignity and patience.

Join artist Rosanne Kleinerman in creating a no-sew “butterfly book,” a Japanese technique that refers to the pages fluttering like the wings of a butterfly, using a variety of drawing and painting materials. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on family and personal memories when creating the contents of their book.

Presented by the USC Pacific Asia Museum. Space is limited. To sign up, call (626) 744-4014.

All events take place in the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut Street. For more information call (626) 744-4066 or visit






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