Harry Manaka is a retired former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) executive now living in Washington State. Prior to beginning his career with the IRS, Harry played in several bands during what he refers to as the Sansei Dance Party era. Sansei is Japanese for Third Generation. Harry and his wife, the former Christine Kuroda, also once owned a popular nightclub and restaurant called the Baby Lion Supper Club in Los Angeles, CA.
With the onset of the pandemic, Harry decided to write his memoirs for the sake of his children and grandchildren, who knew nothing about his musical past. Once he started writing, he realized that his own past was so intertwined with other musicians and performers who did the same thing back in the old days, that his story would be incomplete without seeking input from those who had done the same thing as he. Thus began a quest to contact and reunite with some people who he had not talked to in over fifty years.
Tragedy has also been part of Harry’s past. His fellow band mate and business partner, David Jingu, was senselessly murdered in the bar in 1978. Part of Harry’s desire to write his memoirs was to honor his former friend. What started out as a small project, has turned into a complete manuscript and book. The more than 40 people that Harry contacted provided information, as well as pictures, posters, and other artifacts from the era. Many of them provided examples of bids for use by Harry. What are bids, you ask? The term “bid” was in use as far back as the Japanese internment camps during World War II. Both Harry’s father and mother and their families were interned at the Poston Relocation Center in Arizona. A bid was the price of admission to a dance. This term carried over to the dance era of the ‘60s. Bids could be simple in design, or very elaborate works of art.
Chronicles of a Sansei Rocker provides an insider’s look at the people, places, and music that went into making the Sansei Dance Party era the unique period in history that it came to be. Let Harry’s Chronicles take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane as you revisit the bands, events, and the music that helped to shape this era.
Harry has three grown children and four grandkids and lives with his wife on the beautiful Sahalee Golf Course in Sammamish, WA. In his spare time, he loves to garden, read, barbecue, and of course still likes to occasionally tinkle those ivories.