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New People - Sake Barrel Opening

August 15, 2009 - New People Center, San Francisco, California


Celebrities and dignitaries help VIZ Pictures President Seiji Horibuchi commemorate the opening of New People with a kagami-wariceremony.
Sake barrel opening at the opening of the New People Center at the J-Pop Summit 2009

Seiji Horibuchi, Dana Lewis, Tomodachi, Takako Tokiwa and Paul Osaki crack open the sake barrel.

© Deb Aoki

A project four years in the making, New People Center is the brainchild of VIZ Pictures President Seiji Horibuchi. Now that it's a reality, Horibuchi was joined by two stars of the 20th Century Boys film, its "dark hero" Tomodachi or "Friend", actress Takako Tokiwa (who plays tomboy Yukiji) as well as Dana Lewis, President of the Japan Society of Northern California and Paul Osaki, Executive Director of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California to crack open a barrel of sake to commemorate the center's opening.

Kagami-wari is the breaking open of a wooden taru or sake barrel to signify the start of a sacred ceremony, special occasion or a new beginning such as a wedding, a new product launch or a new business venture.

Lewis called the opening of New People "a landmark moment for Japanese culture in San Francisco." She also mentioned that the Japan Society is working with VIZ Cinema to launch a series of film showings and lectures. "Finally, San Francisco will have what the New York Japan Society has been offering all these years."

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