- Dec. 30 I took my mother, aunt, and cousin for an excurstion to Lancaster
to find the location of my grandparents' farm from before World War II. Hardly
anything left there, but we did find it, below Avenue D on D-8, between 70
- Dec. 27 I went back to Placerita
Canyon and hiked it in the reverse direction that I'd done it with the
Hacpackers a few years ago. This time started with the steep section.
- Dec. 15 I went to see a performance of Wakana Hanayagi's graduating
dance class at the JACCC.
- Dec. 8 went for a hike in Sycamore
Canyon near Pt. Mugu.
- Dec 7 made it to the China Expo
- Nov 30 made it to the Japan Expo
at the LA Convention Center. Got to see the koto recital by Yoko Awaya Kai,
tea ceremony by Urasenke, noh demonstration by Noh-Mai, the Japanese American
awards which included Keiko Matsui playing the piano, and the piano recital
by Missa Johnouchi with a guest appearance by Karen Han on erhu.
- Nov. 29 I climbed up to Mission
Point between the 118 Fwy. and Interstate 5. The guidebooks and maps all
have different names to the trailhead, but it's at Meadowlark and Sesnon.
The area is called O'Melveny Park, but no street signs say that. The local
signs call it Overlook Park and Thomas Bros. calls it Bee Canyon Park.
- November 17 I finally got out on a hike to
Simi Peak in Cheeseboro Park (or whatever it's called.) I was having such
a good time that I forgot that the park closes at sunset, the sun sets early
in winter, and I'm a recently sick old fart who doesn't move that quickly.
I was running down the last hills to make it out of there.
- In November I went to the Descanso
Gardens Japanese Festival. Also, I put together some miscellaneous
photos from festivals around LA plus some random photos of Little Tokyo.
The festivals included the Thai Festival
from which I have a few more photos. I also made it ot the
- At the beginning of October I made a trip again to Lancaster to see Animagic
and got a little closer to figuring out where the farm of my mother's family
was located: 12 miles Northwest of Lancaster. I did find the memorial
to the Japanese American families in the Antelope Valley.
- For Labor Day I hiked up to above the Hollywood
sign on Mt. Lee and across from there to Mt. Cahuenga as well as the one
on the other side (Mt. Chapel?). Later I took a hike
from the Griffths Park side and stopped at the Bat Cave. At another time
I also took a walk up the Arroyo to Pasadena and took a look at the bridges
from the bottom side. I also took a bike ride to Rancho
Alamitos in Long Beach
- Odori at Nisei Week 2002
- Cosplay, Taiko, and the Tofu
Festival during Nisei Week
- Comicon 2002 Got to see Ray
- Right after Anime Expo I took off for England, Germany, and Switzerland
- In England I visited the
aviation museums at:
- In Germany I visited Aachen
to see Charlemagne's tomb
- In Switzerland I stayed with
my friends at Murren to hike and watch the rain, and went on side trips
to Basel and Montreux.
- On the way home I stopped in Baltimore and Washington
DC where I saw the Egyptian exhibit at the National Gallery.
- I also made a stop at Otakon
again in Baltimore. Got to see the first 2 episodes of Princess Knight.
- I revisited the National Air &
Space Museum as well as the air museum at College
- Anime Expo July 4-7, 2002 They
had some real organizational problems this year. After waiting in lines to
get the tickets and again for the doors to open, the Music Video program was
postponed till the next morning. The Dealers' Room was almost impossible to
get into this year.
- To check out my photo gear before my European vacation, I visited the
air museum in Santa Monica
- Fanime 2002
- Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival
- Family Festival at the JACCC
- May 11 I visited the Van Nuys Japanese
- Another and final trip to Mammoth for the seaon.
- April I wound up the cross country
- March 30 I saw a koto recital of Awaya-Kai
at El Camino college
- March 24 I finally saw the Watts
Towers. The day before I was invited to Raytheon to see their hosting
of the JROTC drill competition and display of military hardware. Got to talk
to the pilots and Navy Seals.
Big helicopter and light armor display.
- March 16 I did the Tour de Sewer again
- March 3 Went cross country skiing in Sequoia.
- Feb 23 went to Mammoth with the Asian Ski Club. Went cross country skiing
and finally made it up the San Joaquin ridge. What a view. I also broke down
and bought a lift ticket and used my telemark skis for the first time in years.
It was pretty embarassing.
- Feb 16 I attended the Day of Remembrance
at the JANM
- A fusion Japanese New Years
2002 (Shogatsu) celebration at the Japanese American Cultural Community Center,
combining western opera, Zen, and God knows what else.
- One of the last events of 2001 was attending the
Japan Expo at the Convention Center in LA. I had to brave the rain and
a Staples Center game to make it there.
- Right before the New Year 2002 I visited the Chino Planes
of Fame Air Museum. A little earlier in the year I visited the Castle
Air Museum near the 99 below Turlock.
- I finally made it out backpacking to
Hockett Lake. My friend Gene and I had tried to find that lake and we
got a little lost. After he passed away in October, I decided that I'd better
finish that hike at last.
- Ani-Magic 2001 After that
I returned to the Ani-Magic con in Lancaster, where I also looked for the
high school my mother attended and her family's farm. I couldn't find the
latter, but I did see the general area. Amazing they ever raised alfalfa in
a place that looks like Luke Skywalker's home planet. I also came across a
semi-open museum of flight called Milestones of Flight, and a PY4Y-2 of all
things at a Forestry water bomber base.
- Inekari and Moon Festival After
Peru, I attended the Rice Festival in at the JACCC in Little Tokyo and the
Right after the trip, I went on a Heartwalk which for the Boeing team was
also in memory of our employees who died in the plane that was crashed into
the Pentagon. At the walk I did meet Barbie
Finally went on my trip to Peru,
returning to the US on Sept. 10, of all times. Picture galleries at:
- Cusco and vicinity, including
the Sacred Valley
- Amazon Basin on the Tambopata
- The Inca Trail in the Andes
- Machu Picchu photos taken
within Machu Picchu itself, plus the Inca Bridge Festival the same day
in the Downtown Chinatown.
- Baltimore & DC including a return to the
Garber. Before Peru I went to to the Anime convention in Baltimore, visited
my cousin, made a return trip to the Garber Facility of the Smithsonian, and
the National Cryptologic Museum.
- San Diego 2001 Comicon and
a trip to the Marine Corps Depot. July 19-22 I attended Comicon in San Diego.
Thursday night I saw a performance of "Twelfth Night" at the Old Globe in
Balboa Park and the next day I finally visited the Marine Corps Depot museum.
On the way back on Sunday I went to Pt. Lomas and saw the Cabrillo Monument.
- Somehow I squeezed in time to see the Nisei
- I attended Anime Expo in LB
July 5-8. Boy, you had to do a lot of walking there. I guess my hiking experience
was continuing. No blisters in Mineral King, but I got one in Long Beach.
The Ruroni Kenshin movie was incredible. Going out to LB on the evening of
July 4 to pick up my registration was a real experience. It turns into a real
zoo down by the convention center.
- The weekend before July 4 I drove my Impreza out to King's Canyon on June
30 and made my annual (when I can remember to do it) hike up to Paradise
Valley on Saturday. I can still make It up there and I even caught a little
trout, which I of course let go. Kind of dry up there compared to some previous
years. On Monday I made an overnight backpacking trip up to Crystal
Lake in Mineral King. It was my first time ever in Mineral King and it
is indeed beautiful up there. The lake has a concrete dam from 1911 for some
reason and limited access, but it is big and has a lot of fish. The cliff
hanger campsite gave me a wonderful grandstand seat from which I could watch
the beautiful canyon below. I did experience an incredible 90 minute thunderstorm
that made my ears ring and set a tree on fire down by Cobalt Lake. I weathered
the storm in my Kelty Clark tent with a little leakage. On the way back to
LA I visited my cousins in Bakersfield again.
- Somewhere in April or May I took a trip to the LA
Arboretum. Included in the gallery are photos from a Union Church Festival.
- April 23 I visited the Cherry Blossom
Festival in Monterey Park. This year I missed the Japanese Animation day
at the Comic Book Convention at the Shrine Convention Center.
- During the week on April 12 I was privileged to be a VIP guest at the wonderful
Lotus Steps dance recital of
the UCLA Chinese Cultural
- I've been getting back into hiking
with the Hacpackers. On Feb. 25 we braved the nasty weather to make an unsuccessful
attempt on Mendenhall Peak. On April 8 we started from Millard Camp and went
up the Brown Mountain Trail to the water tank.
I've been busy with my Japanese class at UCLA and work. I did make it up to
San Jose to catch the Sunday part of Fanime 2001 and I visited the Chinese and
Japanese gardens in San
Jose. Sorry, only one cosplay photo. By Monday I realized that I'd forgotten
to reset my watch so I'd been out of synch with the world by an hour. No wonder
the con ended an hour early! I also made my annual wine run through Paso Robles
and then traversed over to Bakersfield
to visit my cousins. While I was there I also visited the heritage museum. On
the way home I stopped at the Simeon Wiesenthal Museum where they were showing
an important Japanese made film on the atrocities committed by Unit 731 during
World War II. I had my picture taken with Kondo-sama, the brave journalist who
made the film. After the showing he described the difficulties he had making
the film and getting it accepted in Japan. I asked him about threats and he
said he is constantly receiving phone threats from the far right in Japan.
On March 18 I saw the LA performance of the Kikunokai folk dance troupe from
Japan. I was able to take pictures of
the cast after the performance. Before that I'd attended two of the wonderful
and free Japanese classical dance recitals
in the Doizaki Gallery of the JACCC in LA. One of the performances also included
a tea ceremony.
On March 17 I went on a hike
starting from Ocean Trails Golf Course on the south side of the Palos Verdes
Peninsula. There is an incredible view there and we had a beautiful day.
To start off 2001 a short gallery of oshogatsu
events around LA including the JANM, Weller Court, and the JACCC.
Here's wrap-up gallery from the
end of the year, including Japan
Expo,(separate gallery) my bike ride to Solana Beach, and so on.
One more thing I did before the end of the year was a trip to the Norton
Simon art museum in Pasadena.
On the way to Animagic in Lancaster
I finally got into Edwards AFB
The Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena has special events each month. One I attended
was about the culture of Mynamar.
I've been to three obon festivals,
Comicon in San Diego (also saw Henry V at the Old Globe and the Topkapi exhibit
at the SD Museum of Art), and an APPA picnic.Nisei
Week wraps up the Obon season in LA.
The beginning of July I went to Anime Expo 2000 at the Disneyland Hotel. I
kind of went crazy with my camera gear and here are over 100 photos organized
into three galleries. It was a little on the crowded side, but the Cosplayers
were definitely out in force. [After buying a new scanner, I decided to reduce
the number of photos and concentrate on a few with higher quality]:
Check here for some photos from around LA
and a business trip to San Jose, a walk through Elysian Park, a trip to the
downtown LA Library, and what's on some of my shelves at home!
March 12 I went to see the Forbidden City Exhibit at the Bowers Museum. The
day before I went to LACMA to see the prints from the Price Collection in the
The last weekend in April I attended the LA Festival of Books, a recital by
soprano Keiko Takeshita in Torrance, and a performance of "Uncle Gunjiro's Girlfriend"
at the Japan America Theater. I also went to Tokyo Night to see what Japanese
college students look like. They're just like the ones in the Japanese soap
operas on TV!
April I attended a salon concert by soprano Hiroko Ide at the JACCC and during
intermission I went downstairs to see the Hanamatsuri
exhibit and take some pictures in the plaza.
Yoshizawa sensei was kind enough to pose for a photo.
In April I also went to see the Monterey
Park Cherry Blossom Festival 2000 and I saw the Pacific Film Currents (Patty
Kinaga) film on breast cancer and APs.
Early April I took a bicycle ride on my Super V up to Montecito
Heights and down to Heritage Square to scout out an urban hike I'm doing
for the Hiking Club.
I finally did the Tour de Sewer one
more time on the Super V. My fork shock went out right before the beginning
of the ride, but I took it back to Helen's after the ride and they fixed it
Feb 25 I went up to Fanime 2K in Santa
Clarita and did some wine tasting in Paso Robles afterwards.
Feb. 2 I took a trip on my Impreza up to the ,
San Francisco and then over to Angel
Island off Tiburon. At Alameda I took a tour of the carrier Hornet
after attending the APE independent comic
book show and I visited San Simeon on the
I finally made it to the LA Car Show.
Nothing too much interesting there. My Impreza still looks the same.
I've been sick with the flu or bronchitis since Thanksgiving, but I did get
to the Japan Expo and the the
New Year celebrations in Little
Tokyo, LA. The links take you to my photos.
Last Update: 29 December 2003
Web Author: Doug Ikemi