Nobuko Miyamoto

Nobuko Miyamoto found her song in the whirlwind of change during the 70’s birth of the Asian American movement. Capturing the spirit of that moment was album “A Grain of Sand,” created with Chris Iijima and Charlie Chin. As troubadours their music galvanized young Asians and built bridges between Latino, African and Native Americans. In 1978 she established Great Leap to create musicals, concerts and music videos to tell the Asian American story. Nobuko now produces FandangObon, a festival that engages communities with participatory music and dance from Mexican Fandango, Japanese Obon, West African, and Sufi traditions to deepen relations, share environmental knowledge, and connect with Mother Earth.

Updated January 2020

culture en

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column


This being the first month of a new year, I thought we’d present “poetics” with a different approach from any other edition of the column—to feature lyrics of two songwriters of different generations and share a bit of their music to boot. For January 2020, we have a song from a brilliant musician, Goh Nakamura, who now hails from Little Tokyo, and a classic from a true legend, Nobuko Miyamoto. We’re also including links to some tracks for you to hear some of their work. With a surely formidable year ahead, we could all use the inspiration of some meaningful an…

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community en

The Evolution of FandangObon

FandangObon is a project that brings together the Japanese, Mexican, and African-American communities into one circle to share participatory music and dance traditions in order to celebrate mother earth. During the year, we do a series of workshops around Southern California to expose communities to different cultural spaces, share practices, and explore traditional expressions about the environment. These activities culminate in mid-October, with a large celebration at the JACCC Noguchi Plaza. The crazy idea of bringing Fandango and Obon together began in 2012, when Quetzal Flores invit…

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