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GREAT LEAP, INC.
© 2001

GREAT LEAP : ARTISTS : CHRIS IIJIMA

 

Chris Iijima was actively involved with the Asian American Movement, beginning in the late sixties and early seventies. He has been a lawyer, school teacher, Chinatown youth counselor, performer and an Asian Movement activist. He was even a bartender at the late Enka Japanese Restaurant - one of the true Asian American hangouts in New York City ten years ago.

In 1973, Chris recorded the first Asian American musical album "A Grain of Sand," with Nobuko Miyamoto and Charlie Chin, which is now part of the Smithsonian. The trio has recently reunited to perform reunion concerts at UC Berkeley, La Pena Cultural Center and University of Massachusetts-Amherst. In 1983, he recorded the album "Back to Back," with Charlie Chin.

Chris was a law professor at Western New England College School of Law and will be teaching at University of Hawaii in the Fall.

Chris was active speaking to undergraduate and law school students about race and politics. He was the father of two young sons who like to hear daddy sing.

Chris is a featured performer with Great Leap’s production of the "Grain of Sand Reunion Concert Trio."

Chris passed away on December 31, 2005 after a long battle with sickness. He will be remembered for his myriad achievements in the arts, education, revolutionary politics, and as an amazing father, husband and friend.