10/01/20 Our Virtual Celebration
Join a Virtual Celebration Marking the Completion of Little Tokyo’s Community Recreation Center, Teresaki Budokan!
Date & Time: October 24, 2020 (Saturday), All Day
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What started as a community dream 25 years ago is now a reality! Construction has completed on Terasaki Budokan, a project of Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), for a much-needed community gym in the heart of Little Tokyo and Downtown Los Angeles. To mark the occasion, on October 24, tune in to a virtual celebration on YouTube. Learn about key moments in the project’s history, see the facility’s spaces, and get a sneak peek into some of the activities that will be hosted at the “Home Court for All.” This celebration precedes a community grand opening event that will happen when we can safely celebrate in-person.
The idea of a community recreation center in Little Tokyo was a dream in the community for decades, and was taken up by LTSC in 1994. LTSC believed through recreation, and other programs, families and young people could be introduced or re-connected with the Little Tokyo community and become invested in its future. Also, the facility could provide sorely needed recreation and services for low-income youth and seniors in the area.
In 2009, a suitable site was identified, and an earnest capital campaign was launched with a $1 million donation by The Aratani Foundation. Many supporters came forward with smaller yet significant contributions. However, the game-changer was a $3.5 million gift made by the Terasaki Foundation.
“Budokan is special because its development is crucial to our mission of preserving Little Tokyo as the historical, cultural and symbolic home for the Southern California Nikkei community,” said the late Dean Matsubayashi, former LTSC Executive Director, at the building’s groundbreaking in 2017.
Terasaki Budokan is a two-story 39,000 square-foot facility. The big gym in Little Tokyo features two basketball courts that convert to four volleyball courts along with space for martial arts. Additionally, there is an outdoor plaza with a stage, second-level terrace, children’s playground, courtyard, community room and underground parking. As well, the gym has an enhanced video system donated by Second Spectrum that allows for the capture of real time sports stats, the ability to develop highlight reels, and much more!
“We’re all very excited. The community’s endless support has been uplifting. We can’t wait to contribute to a vibrant and energetic Little Tokyo. The facility is state of the art, and we hope to be a cornerstone in the community. However, because of the pandemic, we had to postpone the large community gathering. We’re looking forward to coming together at the facility as soon as it is safe to do so.” said Ryan Lee, Director of Terasaki Budokan.
Terasaki Budokan’s mission is to provide a facility unlike any other in Downtown Los Angeles for youth, families and seniors that offers sports, community activities, and opportunities to connect visitors to Japanese American culture and a vibrant, sustainable Little Tokyo. In continuing with its mission, the facility recently started hosting “Mi CASA in Little Tokyo” a socially distanced after-school program for those living in LTSC’s affordable housing units and the downtown area.
Spaces are now available to rent on a limited basis due to COVID-19 safety standards for sports and activities; please visit TerasakiBudokan.org/rentals for more information or to fill out a rental reservation form.
Little Tokyo Service Center is a social service and community development organization that has been creating positive change for the people and places in Southern California for nearly 40 years. We preserve and strengthen the unique ethnic communities of our region and help people thrive. Starting with our own home in Little Tokyo, we build and strengthen communities throughout Southern California where people, culture and our collective future matter.