tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC July 3, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PDT
hello and welcome to asia pacific american. i'm robert handa. hope you are getting ready to celebrate a great fourth of july. we have some other cultural celebrations to talk about as well. first, one of my all-time favorites in san jose is coming up on july 9th. for the japan community and the bay area to enjoy a colorful festivity and celebrate generations of survival and achievement. it's something we discuss as we explore the unique cultural system of harmonizing your
environment, even your final resting place. then after our community calendar, we end with our traditional artistic cultural performance with a dance from a polynesian dance group performing at the island reggae festival. they will be here live in our studio later on our show. it's the season for the japanese custom of honoring the system of ancestor in a colorful way. we have been attending it as far back as i can remember. one of my earliest memories of my culture come from this festival. the traditions and changes keep me and many others throughout the bay area coming back. joining me right now to talk about this year's festival are jim mcclure, the chairperson and raiko ikonawa.
welcome. >> good evening. >> first of all, give us an idea in terms -- i know you are very familiar with the historical background as well as the hawaiian roots. >> it was my late father-in-law who brought it to me. he was a minister who went to hawaii for a con convenience. they asked him to come to the united states. that's when he introduced it up and down the west coast and other dances, too. >> that's amazing. >> it's 90 years as far as the legacy. the first dance and the last dance that we dance is his choreography. >> of course, the historical tradition here, a lot of people because of the festivities don't realize that it's really a tribute to our ancestors. >> absolutely. it's in remembrance and gratitude to those who have gone on. it's very significant for all of us to remember. >> as we see some of the pictures here, it reminds us of
that. it is it a very serious cultural thing as well as a fun time. >> right. we dance for joy. because we do appreciate what they did. so it is a festive, happy occasion. >> jim, what's in store this year? >> the new wrinkle, the hook if you will this year is we are showing a dance here that is 200 years owed. comes from osaka. it was brought to us from a gentleman in san francisco. it's his mission to problem gate this thing throughout colorado. >> a new old wrinkle. >> a new old wrinkle. and his first idea, he wanted to do a live training during the middle of this. we went, are you nuts or have you not seen us? we met him. it seemed like an intriguing idea. there will be a 15-minute special presentation of his number with his group.
then it will be blended into the list of songs that we dance to. >> luckily, reiko is here to help you with us. >> that's the number of dances that would have made it difficult. we have about 13. >> you touched on it a minute ago about the dancing for joy. tell us a little bit about why the dancing -- we see a little rehearsal going on. tell us about the significance and importance. >> there's a story about this that i don't know if i have to repeat here. it was in gratitude to the buddha. so following that, certainly in japan, everyone goes home to their hometown. and we remember all of our ancestors in dance and gratitude of joy. >> how set is the choreography? i know sometimes you simplify it. >> yes. i introduce new dances. a reverend believed in religious as well as secular dances and i follow that reasoning. >> so this year the dancing for
people who want to participate, what should they know? >> everyone can join in. it's easy to join in. we have a lot of people who join in without coming to practice. that's the fun of it. >> jim, don't you think -- we have been talking about it on our show a few different times, which is the future of japan towns. people have gotten so used to them. they almost take them for granted. actually, the changing -- the generations, just modern times have threatened a lot of the japan towns. >> yeah. there are only three left. us, l.a. and san francisco out of all the japanese communities that were prior to world war ii. we lost a lot then. the physical dynamic view of san jose's has changed with the canneries gone. we have more housing. we have more of a robust community within walking distance, which is sort of enlivened the place again. my understanding is they are moving there deliberately because there is an attraction to being in this clearly
identified community. it's not like -- i live in willow glen. it blends in. >> it's important be involved. >> absolutely. and we do see a mixture of ethnicities and all that. jim has been our chairman with the festival for -- >> this is my 17th year. i jokingly said i need to learn how to say no in japanese. >> i think we also want to make sure people understand that this is a festival for everyone. >> absolutely. >> i forget how it is pronounced in japanese. there's a phrase that translates as come as you are. >> i think my wife and daughter participate in this. i have participated, too. but you wouldn't know it by watching me do it. if i attend a rehearsal maybe i will get better. >> come as you are. >> good luck on the festival. we will see you there. >> thanks. >> the festival takes place july 9 and 10 at the japantown.
recently, just before we moved to our new set, i taped and he interview talking with a master of the chinese system to harmonize your environment, including around a grave site. intriguing, don't you think? here is that segment. for many people it's one of the most well-known aspects of chinese culture, yet you find very few who truly understand what feng shui is all about. don't worry, we will address the pronunciation right away. with me is clarence lau, a member of the north star memorial group. welcome to the show. >> thank you. >> let's get that out of the way. i have heard it pronounced a number of different ways.
is there a wrong way, right way? >> a lot of people pronounce is feng shui. my culture, it is feng shui. there are a couple thousand different dialects. they translate differently. >> we won't say they're wrong. they are saying it differently. >> but the same meaning. >> and what is the meaning? what is it in. >> feng shui means in water. it is the basic energy of earth. >> and you apply that to what? >> you are applying it to our living space, which we from a taoist standpoint, looking for nature. by incorporating into the living room and den also into a burial site. would you take what a person already has, furnishing and furniture and stuff like that
and arrange it? are they required to buy thins to fulfill it? >> traditional feng shui doesn't mean you need to buy all kind of stuff. a lot of people, you need to buy something. but in fact, it's through directing the flow of the energy. >> i remember that we talked a lot before with people using it for their living spaces. how about for the after life, for dealing with funerals, cemetery sites, things like that? >> in fact, burial site were the earliest feng shui used in our culture. >> started there. >> yeah. it has been over 3,000 years of history. and if you find a good location for the burial site, it will contribute a good prosperity, harmony and good luck to your next generations as well as to your well-being. >> what are some of the good circumstances that you want to
do to contribute to the feng shui atmosphere? >> the location, it is the most important. selecting the good location that accumulating the good energy that would benefit to ourselves. >> like a cemetery plot or something overlooking the ocean or a good view, for example? >> most important, it is from the surroundings. the mountain riches that you are surrounded by the green mountain that giving out a positive energy. mountain in the back is providing support which is giving you the protection. in the front of it, the most important part is about money. that is the body of the water. in our site, we have the pacific ocean. that is the natural water. >> what site is this? >> the site for our sky view development. >> where is that?
>> summit hill. it's the greatest landform. >> i remember that we talked about this before. was that a place specifically chosen because of its circumstances? it must be hard to find some place that's ideal. >> that's true. because of the landform from the nature, we incorporate feng shui into the site by neutralizing the water feature which we have to using a lotus flower design and six rivers incorporating the prosperity for the location. and also we put a goddess of mercy, that is very important in our chinese culture. goddess of mercy also giving us out energy for purity and good luck. so it would be getting a good
blessing for the ancestor which are burial in there. >> this comes automatically when you get a plot at this development? or do people buy the development and you or somebody else comes in and helps them with that? >> to help to find a good spot and good location for the family based on to their family. for example, it's a birthday. so we can positioning for each individual. this is the way of how to master. >> how do people contact you? how do people do this if they are interested? >> if they are interested, they can look it up from the web. skylawn.com. you can find my contacts. >> you would be the consultant? >> yes. i'm the consultant for the skylawn. >> what do you get out of doing this? what kind of enjoyment, what
kind of feedback do you feel like you get from doing this? >> i feel great, bause i feel rewarded because a lot of my clients are telling me that after giving the consultation, they all having a good positive and good life. >> can't ask for more than that. thank you very much for being here. appreciate it. again, that was a segment we taped recently. to get more information on feng shui in the after life, you can go to eternalresorts.com and select contact us. stay with us. first our community calendar and then there are some events there you will definitely want to mow about. then we will have a live dance performance from a polynesian dance group. who will be featured at the upcoming island reggae festival. stay with us.
first, our community calendar. the asian american women artist association's emerging curators program will present an art exhibition. it's a showcase for ten emerging asian-american women and queer artists which activates personal and intimate narratives of mental and historical trauma while bravely reclaiming and empowering inter-generational memories. it runs through july 9th with an artistic talk and closing reception on that final night, july 9. for more information go to nbcbayarea.com. mark inouye in concert for the topaz museum. it runs july 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the san francisco conservatory of music. this is a musical and personal journey for mark in a way, who has been on a journey to
discover all he can about his father which led him to the internment camp outside of delta, utah. tickets are going fast. for more information go to nbcbayarea.com. the 21st century solutions announcement. applns are now open. a program by nbc bay area and telemundo 48 that awards grants up to $100,000 to three local non-profits embracing innovation to advance positive community-based programs in civic engagement, education, environment, jobs and economic empowerment, media and technology. the application period is now open and open through august 26. for details go to nbcbayarea.com/21stcentury solutions. coming up a dance group will be an attraction at
welcome back. we have been happy to talk about the island reggae festival. one of the featured acts is here to perform for us now. this is ruby, the director and manager of the group. thank you very much for being here. >> thanks for having us. >> tell us about your group. >> we're based out of heyward, california. a polynesian dance group made of family members. we perform dances of polynesia. we formed a group to share our passion of dancing. >> who is here? >> deborah, laiman and nanna. they will be performing. it's a medley. it's a mix of a lot of different dances. >> all right.
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