Welcome to the Little Tokyo Blog

We've set up this space where members of the Little Tokyo community could share information, thoughts, ideas, and opinions about the Little Tokyo neighborhood, it's people, politics, culture/history, businesses, and events.


Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story

Posted on behalf of Kevin Sanada, who's working on the Little Tokyo Recreation Center campaign:

Basketball has undoubtedly evolved into a premier social institution for California JA’s. From the San Jose Zebras to the West Covina Sabers, from the Sacramento Barons to F.O.R., there are ballplayers of all ages perfecting their jump shots, coordinating the 1-3-1 trap, gearing up for tournament season, and, of course, getting yelled at to box out. Despite its popularity and importance in the community, however, many are unfamiliar with the most influential Japanese American ballplayer in the history of the sport.

On February 15th, JACCC and the Little Tokyo Recreation Center will sponsor a screening of Bruce Alan Johnson and Christine Toy Johnson’s film Transcending: the Wat Misaka Story, documenting the life of Wataru “Wat” Misaka, a 5’7” point guard drafted in the first round of the 1947-1948 NBA draft. He was the first ethnic minority to play in the NBA, paving the way not only for JA’s, but for individuals of all races and colors.

As the dream of a Little Tokyo Recreation Center becomes a reality, we want to look to the future while remembering and honoring those who made everything possible in years past. Basketball will continue to flourish in Los Angeles, as there will soon be a central venue for tournaments, leagues, and other events available to the public. JACCC and LTSC share a belief in the preservation of Japanese American culture through education and hope that you will join us as we examine the life of an extremely influential JA.

Justin Lin’s short documentary Crossover, a study on the popularity and history of JA leagues and tournaments, will also be screened. An informational session about the future Recreation Center will take place as well, in case you have any questions. Hope to see you all there!

When: February 15, 2009 @ 2pm
Where: Aratani / Japan America Theatre
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
244 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets: $10 Gen Admission
$8 Students/Seniors/Groups
$7 JACCC, JANM, & VC Members

For more information or to reserve tickets, please call (213) 628-2725. A percentage of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Little Tokyo Recreation Center capital campaign.