Find Your Folklife – Noriko Carroll

I grew up in Japan…

…learned to dress in a kimono and practiced traditional dances as a child, but like so many, over the years, I had forgotten so much.

Kizuna was created to help elderly Japanese people who lost their partners after long years together in America, then were alone or living far from other family members. It started with the idea that there would be a friend to help with things like setting up home care and visiting. “Kizuna” means “bonds”—a strong connection and relationship.

We had the idea of presenting the Spring Festival. Our members knew others who did Japanese dance, played koto, knew tea ceremony, practiced the art of flower arranging, knew how to dress in a kimono, or how to make traditional foods. Everyone contributes what they have to share.

There is a Buddhist idea—”cause and effect”—that taking action will lead to accomplishment. So by joining Kizuna you meet people and become part of a network and this action creates opportunities for you and for others and benefits the community.

Noriko Carroll, Kizuna Japanese Society, Las Vegas