Marvel at the amazing and creative ways that writers can imagine Little Tokyo and expand the fictional boundaries of the Japanese American experience. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest and the first time the ceremony will be in person since 2019! The event will be a vibrant celebration of the Little Tokyo, its history and culture, and those who love it with special guests to be announced and giveaways of books written by Japanese American and Japanese authors.
Each year, the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest heightens awareness of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo by challenging both new and experienced writers to write a story that captures the spirit and essence of Little Tokyo and the people in it. In this celebration emceed by by Tamlyn Tomita, the winning stories in the three contest categories—Adult, Youth, and Japanese language—will be showcased with dramatic readings by Mika Dyo, Greg Watanabe and Japanese voice actress, Mayumi Saco. Each category winner is awarded a cash prize and their story will be published in The Rafu Shimpo, on Discover Nikkei, and on the Little Tokyo Historical Society website.
Light refreshments will be provided by Sanzo.
The contest is presented by Little Tokyo Historical Society in partnership with JANM’s Discover Nikkei project.
Mayumi Saco is one of Japan's top-tier voice and theater actresses. She is well-known in the Japanese market as the voice of major Hollywood talents in blockbuster films such as Scarlet Johansson in Iron Man 2; Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Zero Dark Thirty; Margot Robbie in I, Tonya; Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes; Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game; Zazie Beetz in Deadpool 2 and more.
She is also highly sought-after for her versatility in voicing characters in many popular US drama series including: Sharp Objects, Maniac, Lucifer, The Good Doctor, Sense8, Star Wars: Andor, Star Trek: Picard, Magnum P.I., Loki, etc. And, Saco has now become a known presence in the field of anime and game voice work such as Ghibli's Spirited Away, Vinland Saga, Go! Princess PreCure, Blade of the Immortal, Ghost of Tsushima and Resident Evil 6.
Mika Dyo (she/her/theirs) is a theatre artist dedicated to amplifying the voices of silenced communities. She recently played Sue Hasegawa in the 2022 film, No No Girl and hopes to continue to share stories of the Japanese American community. They recently received a BA in Theatre Arts from CSULB and are grateful for the love and support of her family.
Greg Watanabe is a veteran theater performer who appeared in Allegiance on Broadway. Other credits include Off-Broadway appearances in Ballad Of Yachiyo (Public Theater) and Golden Child (Signature Theater). Regionally, he performed in Cambodian Rock Band, Romeo and Juliet, The Summer Moon, Extraordinary Chambers, The Happy Ones, and Hold These Truths. Recently he appeared in Our Town, The Great Leap, and Kim's Convenience.
Some television credits include “Madam Secretary,” “Criminal Minds,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Reno 911.”