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Community Gathers to
Celebrate Alan Takeshi Nishio

By February 23, 2024June 10th, 2024No Comments

Terasaki Budokan hosts hundreds to bid farewell to respected, beloved figure.

By P.C. Staff

The program cover for Alan Nishio’s celebration of life, held at the Terasaki Budokan

More than three decades ago, Alan Nishio was part of a group of Japanese Americans interested in getting built in Little Tokyo some sort of recreation center that could help bring the community together.

Although there was likely no ink­ling then that someday the community would gather at what would become the Terasaki Budokan to honor and celebrate Nishio’s life, it was fitting the event took place there as a testament to his foresight when, on Feb. 10, more than 600 fans, friends and family members gathered to pay him tribute.

Amy Watanabe speaks at Alan Nishio’s celebration of life on Feb. 10 at the Terasaki Budokan in Little Tokyo. (Photo: George Toshio Johnston)

A respected, influential, beloved, well-known, decorated and accomplished member of Los Angeles’ Japanese American  community, Nishio died at age 78 on Dec.  27, 2023, after a years-long battle with leiomyosarcoma (see Pacific Citizen’s Jan. 26-Feb. 8, 2024, issue,

Serving as master of ceremonies for Nishio’s celebration of life was Chris Aihara. The program included musical performances by Kira Nishio Lockwood, Ty Nishio Lockwood, June Kuramoto, Kimo Cornwell, Dan Kuramoto, Michael Murata, Scott Nagatani and Miko Shudo, as well as a multimedia presentation by Nagatani.

From left, musicians June Kuramoto, Dan Kuramoto and Kimo Cornwell perform at Alan Nishio’s Feb. 10 celebration of life. (Photo: George Toshio Johnston)

Speakers included Evan Nishio Lockwood, Mike Murase, Sue Oda Omori, Kathy Masaoka, Sara Mitsue Ty, Jaffe Dickerson, Amy Watanabe, Erich Nakano, Alexa Emiko Ty and Aihara.

Nishio’s life was summed up by a friend and peer, Ron Wakabayashi, who said, “He was the best of us.”

Note: A PDF of Nishio’s celebration of life program may be viewed at

The gymnasium at the Terasaki Budokan was at capacity for Alan Nishio’s celebration of life on Feb. 10 in Little Tokyo. (Photo: George Toshio Johnston)