Backstory and Context
The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center first opened up in 1980. Although the JACCC opened up in 1980, the planning for the JACCC started as early as the 1970s. This was due to the redevelopment of Little Tokyo in the 1970s. During the redevelopment stages, a committee of Japanese American citizens put forth the idea that the top priority of redevelopment was to add/ build a cultural center and a community center for the Japanese American community. Many in this committee were issei, which means that they were part of the first generation Japanese Americans. The reason that this soon to be Japanese American Cultural & Community Center was of such great importance to them was so that they could pass on Japanese culture to the Nisei, which mean the second generation Japanese Americans.
The campaign to start building the JACCC was put into place in 1976. While in 1980 the main/ center building of the JACCC was opened it was not until later in 1983 that two of the other buildings within the JACCC was opened. These buildings were, the Aratani Theatre first. Then, the JACCC Plaza. The total time that it took to fully complete the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center was six years. This was between 1978 and 1983. This construction finished with the astounding price of $15 million. The support in building the JACCC not only came from the local government, but also from other US corporations. In total the participation in building the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center was from the Japanese American community, local government, US foundations, and Japanese businesses that were both in the US and abroad in Japan.
With the effort of keeping Japanese culture alive for the Japanese American community, the JACCC offers multiple programs within its facilities. These include performing arts, visual and cultural arts, community engagement programs, Japanese culinary art programs, and programs in sustaining Little Tokyo. The performing arts program include traditional Japanese works that are performed by local, national, and international traditional Japanese artists. Some of the things performed include, Grand Kabuki (plays), Noh (masked plays), and Bunraku (national puppet theatre). For the community engagement program, they hold events that are aimed at bringing multi-ethnic generations of Japanese Americans together to build a greater understanding of Japanese culture. For the culinary arts program, this is more or less a cooking class that helps to understand traditional and modern Japanese cuisine.
, JACCC. JAPANESE AMERICAN CULTURAL & COMMUNITY CENTER, JACCC. Accessed December 14th 2019. http://www.jaccc.org/.