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New Festival Brings Japanese and Korean Cultures Together

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, February 05, 2010, at 04:57PM

The potential loss of identity that comes with outside-owned development has long been a major issue for Little Tokyo, and the 2008 sale of the Little Tokyo Shopping Center to Korean investors was met with fear and concern. Lately, though, there has been a focused efforts to bring the two communities together.

Tomorrow, rain or shine, the Little Tokyo Korea Japan Festival will hold a day-long cultural exchange through film screenings, performance, and some cross cultural lunch.

"There are many similarities between the two cultures," said Helen Mauchi, the festival organizer, whose job now includes securing big tents to protect the festival from the rain.

James Kyson Lee and Eriko Tamura of NBC's "Heroes" will host the cross-cultural celebration.

Indoors, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will host screenings of Rough Cut (Yeong-hwa-neun Yeong-hwa-da), Hun Jang's 2008 Korean gangster flick; Tsubaki Sanjuro, Yoshimitsu Morita's 2007 remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1962 samurai story; and Tina Yanagimoto's documentary "New Beginnings: Cultural Harmony in Little Tokyo."

Admission includes two films, a box lunch and outdoor performances. Tickets may be purchased online or through the Aratani/Japan America Theatre Box Office, (213) 680-3700.

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