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“One Man Band” Arthur's Stolen Music Equipment

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*Updated Fundraiser: This is now a fundraiser for new music equipment since it was all stolen from him in July. Performing music is how he makes a living so this is pretty devastating. The current total is primarily from his previous fundraiser for rent during the pandemic and not relevant to this new situation. Here is a brief description from Junko Goda:

"Hi Everyone -
It seems that Arthur just can’t get a break. In addition to the news of his dear wife, Rosemarie’s passing, Arthur shared with us that his precious instruments were stolen. He had been storing them in a locked facility and it was broken into and stolen in early July. There’s the issue of where he can continue storing his musical equipment (currently being explored), but for now if we can all pitch-in to help Arthur recoup his losses, that would be greatly appreciated.

What’s Little Tokyo without Arthur’s music meandering through the air?" (Junko Goda)

Previous fundraiser regarding Arthur's rent payments:
(Please watch the short 60-second video at the very bottom of this description to learn more about Arthur and why I started this GoFundMe for him.)

I don't think anyone over 80 years-old should have to worry about paying their rent because they can't work during a global pandemic. Nothing has stopped Arthur in the past. Not arthritis, being paralyzed, his age, his lack of transportation, or even major neck surgery has stopped him from going to Little Tokyo via the public bus system to perform his music most days of the week. If anything were to stop him against his will to share his passion and to work for his hard-earned money, it could only be a global pandemic. 

If you’ve visited Little Tokyo over the last few years, you’ve probably met and heard the music of 83 year-old, Arthur Nakane and his one-man band! He has been an entertainer his whole life among many other things. He performed on America’s got talent and was even interviewed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. His perseverance and optimism are astounding. I’ve even had the pleasure of having him as a guest speaker in my classroom to share with students the power of shifting their mindset when challenging obstacles come their way. He is a living example of that. He takes the public bus by himself from his home with all of his equipment to perform four days a week in Little Tokyo. He's in a wheelchair, uses a walker, and his fingers won’t even straighten to play his many instruments due to arthritis, yet when you ask to help him set-up and tear down, he says he doesn’t mind taking multiple hours to do it by himself because eventually, it will teach him to do it faster. As you can see, he uses his walker for his keyboards and he keeps his instruments together with PVC pipes. His mind is so active. He writes lots of poetry and creates new music all the time. Even when the pandemic began, he was still out most days performing and bringing joy and music to everyone...however, he had to stop in order to stay safe even though he loves performing and entertaining so much.
With that said, street performing is his main form of income. When you offer to help him financially, he usually refuses it. The one time he did accept something offered to him, he said that he wouldn't spend it until he felt like he was able to earn it over the next few years! After some hard convincing, we eventually got him to just use it. Even though he would never ask for a handout, it is clear that he is a bit worried about paying his rent (through some examples which I want to keep private) since he can't work. He started offering Japanese language lessons, but technology is a bit challenging for him which again limits his ability to work even in this way.

Arthur is such a strong individual who has truly persevered through so many physical barriers. He brings so much joy to everyone with his music, his haikus, his jokes, and his emails. I'm hoping that this can be a way to help him have some peace of mind for at least a few months until things (hopefully) get better and he can eventually perform in Little Tokyo again.

I plan on giving whatever we raise here and calling it a “tip” for all of his wonderful performances since he probably wouldn't feel comfortable accepting something he didn’t feel like he earned right away. I’ll happily post his response to our donations here after I give everything to him. I know this would help him out tremendously. I don't know if anyone will donate to this at all. I've never created one of these before but I just felt like it would be important to at least try and help him out during these challenging times. I know Arthur will be so grateful and will probably write a Haiku to express his thanks to you. Please consider donating and helping him out. 100% of what GoFundMe allows me to give him will go straight to him and if you post your names, I think he will be able to see those too. Let's bring joy to a man who has spent his whole life bringing joy and laughter to so many others. Thank you!


  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Mark Yoshida
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Jian Luan
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Janet H Almqvist
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • An Tran
    • $40 
    • 1 yr

Organizer and beneficiary

Jennifer Akamine Phillips
Agoura Hills, CA
Christina Nakane Hawes

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