Nikkei and Retirement held its 30th anniversary luncheon at Benihana in San Francisco’s Japantown on July 14.
The guest speaker was the Rev. Lloyd Wake, who, along with his wife Marian Wake, was instrumental in organizing a committee following the Nisei Retirement Planning Conference organized by the National Japanese American Citizens League and the National Institute of Mental Health in November of 1976. The conference led to the establishment of a local committee, which sponsored a general community meeting in March of 1980 from which emerged the formation of the Pre-Retirement Committee in 1980, and a few years later the name was changed to Nisei and Retirement.
To make the group more inclusive, the name changed to the current title.
Lloyd Wake spoke about “the beauty of Nikkei retirement,” which he described as retiring with “dignity.”
The group aimed to have events and workshops for Nisei seniors in the Bay Area, a goal it continues to fulfill today.
Lloyd Wake remarked that the group continues to hold events that meet the community’s needs.
Marian Wake said she would like to see Nikkei and Retirement address such topics as hospice care, and death and dying.
Among the luncheon’s guests were people who have been active since the group’s early days, and remain active participants today, including: Bo Yoshimura, Marion and Lloyd Wake, Kiku Funabiki, Tomoye Takahashi, Warren and June Eijima, Helen Utsumi and Daisy Satoda.
The group recognized sisters Tomoye Nozawa Takahashi and Martha Nozawa Suzuki, recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, from the Japanese government. Takahashi and Suzuki were honored for: promoting Japanese culture, history and the arts in the U.S., their philanthropic contributions to preserving and educating the public on the history and culture of Japanese Americans, as well as their contributions in promoting exports of Japanese crafts and toys to the United States.
Nikkei and Retirement has previously held educational events on topics including caring for a loved one with dementia, coping with medical emergencies and managing a budget during the recession.
The group does not have any membership or registration fees. Meetings are open and free to all Bay Area Nikkei who are interested.