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 […]

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 […]

San Jose Obon delivers comforting familiarity to community

This year’s Obon festival in San Jose’s Japantown, which took place July 9 and July 10, was the same as it is every year: parking was nearly impossible to find, a line extended all the way from Jackson Street around the corner to North Fifth Street for the shave ice sold at Shuei-do Manju Shop, […]

Ethnic enclave readying for new developments

SAN JOSE — San Jose’s Japantown, a mix of retail, residential and light industrial development still has opportunity for growth and developers are taking advantage of the available space to build new retail and housing in the ethnic enclave. At the center of potential new developments is the Japantown Corporation Yard, bordered by Sixth, Seventh, […]

Supes approve resolution against oil train project

SAN JOSE — The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved  a resolution Aug. 25 against a project that would bring trains carrying oil through the county. The proposed rail spur extension project in San Luis Obispo County would allow up to five trains with 80 cars to travel through 40 miles of track […]

San Jose Japantown ‘stand(s)on giants’ shoulders

SAN JOSE JAPANTOWN: A JOURNEY By Curt Fukuda and Ralph M. Pearce (San Jose: Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 2014, 470 pp., $65.25, hardcover) While perusing this beautiful and bountiful 470-page tome affording its lucky readers a temporal, spatial, and sociocultural journey relative to San Jose’s Japantown, I reflected upon my personal journey regarding […]

SAN JOSE’S DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: A new generation of activists

SAN JOSE — The 35th annual Day of Remembrance, held at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Feb. 12 in the city’s Japantown, marked the infamous day in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the illegal incarceration of some 120,000 Nikkei during World War II, drastically altering the […]

Book sheds light on San Jose Japantown’s rich history and culture

Fifteen years ago, San Jose Japantown community members began working on a project to create a virtual reality tour of the ethnic enclave. Over the years, the lead team members brought in others to support the project, and its scope expanded and evolved accordingly. Fast forward to this fall, with the upcoming release of “San […]

Two commercial buildings damaged in 2-alarm fire

SAN JOSE  — Two commercial buildings were damaged in a two-alarm fire in San Jose the afternoon of Aug. 30, a fire captain said. Crews responded to the fire in the 500 block of North Seventh Street between Jackson and East Empire streets around 3:30 p.m., San Jose fire Capt. Rob Brown said. Initial reports […]

SAN JOSE CHIDORI BAND: Playing the classics and dancing for the ancestors

SAN JOSE — In 1953, community leaders in San Jose’s Japantown came together to discuss the ethnic enclave’s needs. During a period when Japanese-language performance arts was scarce, the community realized there was a need for entertainment for its Issei. The San Jose Chidori Band was formed in response and has since performed a mix […]

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