Brenda Wong Aoki

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Brenda Wong Aoki is a well-known Asian American storyteller and performance artist based in San Francisco.

The day after the the 40th anniversary Gathering I held on March 11, 2018, she emailed Nobuko to express her regrets at missing the event, and she shared her memories of taking Nobuko's dance class:

Hi Nobuko,

We are so sorry we are not at your Gathering! [...] But I remember so much with you!

I was singing your songs before I met you when I was a student at UCSC. My boyfriend & I would sing all the Grain of Sand songs at rallies and I remember how exciting it was in the 70’s to drive into LA from Long Beach and take class with you. Sharon Senzaki (Randy’s wife) was in the class with me and we always talk about Senshin dance classes [1] with Nobuko - our SoCal roots, when we see each other up North. I’ll always remember going to your house for a brief moment and seeing your father sleeping on the couch. He was so tall and regal and absolutely Native American! That made my heart soar because at the time, I always felt kind of out of it because I was mixed race and the identity thing was/is so specific. Later, I loved listening to you in J-town at Jigoku - there was always a buzz when Nobuko was coming to town. It was an honor to be at you and Tarabu’s wedding and to be a small comfort in a way to little boy Kamau.

I’ve kept up with all the incredible work you’ve been doing through Great Leap, building the peace stone by stone. The Fandango obon! The new bon-odori you’ve created! Your crazy video with the ChopStick Lady - so prolific! You have no idea how many people your spirit has impacted. You are a bodhisattva!

Thank you for being!

Brenda


External links

Brenda Wong Aoki's website [2].