Community News

FROM SUMO TO MUSIC: Former Ozeki KONISHIKI to be Grand Marshal of parade

Hail the conquering hero … once again. When KONISHIKI last came to the Bay Area in 1996, the much celebrated sumo wrestler in Japan was taking a victory lap of sorts at a tournament in San Jose while he wound down a history-making career. Sunday, April 16 in San Francisco, the Hawai‘i-born KONISHIKI will return […]

Cherry Blossom Festival celebrating 50 years and embracing the future

San Francisco’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary with organizers hoping to present a celebration of Japanese culture that is bigger than ever. This year, the two weekend-long event will host a 50th anniversary gala, more than 200 guests from Japan and expanded entertainment, including a scavenger hunt. Richard Hashimoto, who previously […]

Sacramento group preserves Japanese folk dancing and music

Through its long history, with roots dating back to the late 1940s, the Sacramento, Calif.-based Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai has gone through a few changes, but its core remains the same: a love for traditional Japanese arts. Known now for its Japanese folk dancing and music, the group wasn’t always primarily made up of […]

PLAYING FOR COMMUNITY: San Jose Taiko founders P.J. and Roy Hirabayashi

Known both locally and internationally, P.J. and Roy Hirabayashi were among the latest inductees to the Hokka Nichibei Kai (Japanese American Association of Northern California) Bunka Hall of Fame during its annual New Year’s party Jan. 28, alongside fellow San Jose’s Japantown cultural arts icon Reiko Iwanaga (Reimichi Hanayagi). The Hirabayashis, founders of San Jose […]

S.F. Cherry Blossom Queen candidates announced

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program presented its 2017 queen candidates during its annual festival preview March 12 at the Union Bank Community Room in San Francisco’s Japantown. The Queen Program, a highlight of San Francisco’s 50th annual Cherry Blossom Festival, will take place Saturday, April 8 at the AMC Kabuki 8. The […]

San Francisco’s Japantown witnesses considerable turnover in 2016

Throughout 2016, San Francisco’s Japantown saw many changes. Several longtime businesses changed hands while others have taken over empty locations. As the changes affect Japantown’s landscape, some expressed wariness over the neighborhood’s future as well as pointed out the difficulties the ethnic enclave’s business owners currently face today. Unique New Businesses Richard Hashimoto, president of […]

Numerous leadership changes at Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo nonprofits

LOS ANGELES — After a long period of stability, various nonprofit organizations in Little Tokyo have experienced significant leadership changes the past few years. Dean Matsubayashi took over at the Little Tokyo Service Center, Leslie Ito at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Mitchell Maki at the Go For Broke National Educational Center. […]

Mixed-heritage Japanese Americans seek bone marrow matches

Last January, Paul Ota felt a pain in his chest. Maybe, he thought, he had pulled a muscle at the gym. Upon visiting his doctor, though, Ota was diagnosed with advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that can start in a person’s lymph nodes. After six rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to destroy the […]

Nichi Bei Foundation awarded $30,000 grant from Takahashi Foundation

The Nichi Bei Foundation, an educational nonprofit organization that publishes the Nichi Bei Weekly Japanese American community newspaper, was awarded a $30,000 grant from The Tomoye and Henri Takahashi Charitable Foundation, the organization said. The grant will fund “ongoing administrative costs,” said an Oct. 3 letter from Masako Takahashi, chair of The Henri and Tomoye […]

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Annex renovation project complete

SAN JOSE — The renovations to the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin’s Annex Building are complete, and the facility is ready for future generations to enjoy. The renovation began approximately a year ago as part of a two-phase capital project titled “Generations.” The first phase of the project involved seismic and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility […]

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