Joining the festivities of this 2019 Japan Day celebration are the students of the legendary dance master artist Mme. Fujima Kansuma who is truly a pioneer in bringing Japanese classical dance to the United States.
Mme. Fujima studied with the great Kabuki actors of the pre World War II era in Japan and as a young girl brought back to the U.S. never before seen costumes and dances to the Issei audiences. During the War years here in the U.S. she used her dance as a means to inspire and encourage her fellow internees.
She has been recognized by the government of Japan for her cultural contributions and is a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship. Most recently in 2018 she was honored by the Smithsonian, NEA, and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center celebrating her 100th birthday!
This century old dancer, teacher, choreographer and cultural icon has maintained the Soke Fujima School of Classical Dance in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles for over 80 years. Mme was born right here in San Francisco and has fond memories of dancing at the San Francisco World Fair in 1939. She is happy to be back home to present her students at this years Japan Day Celebration.