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GLA JACL to Screen ‘The Finale Club’

Robert Shoji and Martha Nakagawa

GARDENA — The Greater Los Angeles JACL Chapter’s next event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 14, at Merit Park Recreation Hall, 58 Merit Park Dr. (off 158th Street, east of Pacific Square) in Gardena.

Business meeting at 1 p.m. will be followed at 2 p.m. by a screening of “The Finale Club,” a 12-minute documentary by Robert Shoji, with Martha Nakagawa providing complementary information on Bronzeville.

In 1946, a confluence of music, race, and politics led to a historic performance at The Finale Club in Little Tokyo. Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, two of the greatest jazz musicians, played at the club when Little Tokyo was Bronzeville and the Japanese American community was vanquished from unfounded war hysteria.

“The Finale Club” was screened at Visual Communications’ Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May 2018.

Shoji was born in Chicago and now resides in Torrance. Married with one son, he graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in electrical engineering. For over 30 years, he managed the design and execution of audio systems in the consumer electronics industry. He is an avid music enthusiast and audiophile.

“The Finale Club” is his third short film for Visual Communications/Digital Histories.

Nakagawa has been on staff of Asian Week, The Rafu Shimpo, and Pacific Citizen. She has conducted oral history interviews for Densho and for the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, where she also assisted in processing the Jack & Aiko Herzig papers.

She is a recipient of a California Civil Liberties Public Education Program grant (fiscal year 2005-06) and has been a consultant for the California State University Japanese American Digitization Planning Project and for Thirteen/WNET’s Mission US Series, an educational video game.

For more information, contact Louise Sakamoto at (310) 327-3169 or

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