Jul 16th 2017 O.A.

Keiro Grants Program

A briefing was held by the nonprofit organization, Keiro that supports the elders, on June 26th at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in West Covina, regarding the subsidy for the elderlies. Since last year, Keiro has donated a subsidy worth 90 thousand dollars in total to nursery homes and social welfare services. Doors are now open for this year’s applications. Details of the system as well as the applicant requirements were covered at the briefing along with a Q&A session. The East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center received a subsidy last year for their weekly senior programs. Currently, about 1 in 4 Japanese Americans are over 65 years old. That is twice as high compared to the elderly rates in the US. Despite the needs for the elderly population increasing, organizations and managements are at difficult times; therefore, Keiro will prioritize in supporting them.

Bon Festival(Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Long Beach Buddhist Church)

A bon festival was held on July 8th and 9th at Little Tokyo’s Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Kids and adults enjoyed another year of dancing in a circle with different food stands, thanks to the help of the temple’s staff and volunteers. The Long Beach Buddhist Church in Long Beach also had their bon festival on July 8th for the first time in 47 years. This temple was established in 1957 by the monk, Kosai Osada and local people. It was the place where Japanese Americans can relax after experiencing the concentration camp during WWII. However, the festival stopped after Kosai Osada went back to Japan in 1970. The meaning for this buddhist church’s existence also became shallow since the members became old and the Japanese American community changed into a multicultural one. That is when the local 3rd generation Japanese Americans stood up. “We want to hold the bon festival that we went as a family during our childhoods” - that was what moved everyone. Participants that heard the bon festival happening enjoyed the bon festival for the first time in 47 years.

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