Archives for April 2016

OBITUARY: Itsuto “Matt” Matsumoto

MATSUMOTO, ITSUTO “MATT,” 82, passed away on March 17, 2016. Itsuto/Matt was born in California on January 28, 1934. He and his family were interned during World War II at Rohwer, Arkansas. Afterwards, the family relocated to Chicago where he graduated from high school. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in […]

Workshop depicts pre-war life in Sacramento’s Japantown

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Not known to most people, California’s capital city once housed the fourth largest Japantown in the state. Now however, decades after the 1956 Capitol Mall Redevelopment Project tore down its buildings, Sacramento’s Japantown lives on only in old photos and in the hearts of those who walked the town streets. In an […]

KEEPING HISTORY: Samantha Beth Tsukiji crowned 2016 queen

The 49th annual Cherry Blossom Festival crowned its 2016 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen in an April 9 ceremony at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco’s Japantown. The program, emceed by KTVU reporter Jana Katsuyama and KGO reporter David Louie, had Kona Melissa Kawai, Nicole Kiyomi Harada, Marisa Mari Sum, Samantha Beth Tsukiji, […]

Kerry becomes 1st U.S. sec. of state to visit Hiroshima A-bomb park

HIROSHIMA — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on April 11 visited a peace park marking the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing in the western Japan city of Hiroshima, the first top U.S. diplomat to do so, focusing attention on whether President Barack Obama will follow suit when he visits Japan later in the year. In […]

Adachi and ACLU call for stronger civil rights probes of police department

San Francisco’s public defender and the American Civil Liberties Union both called April 5 for independent governmental investigations into alleged racist text messages and use-of-force policies in the city’s Police Department. Public Defender Jeff Adachi asked California Attorney General Kamala Harris to undertake a state probe. Adachi said in a letter to Harris that a […]

Police release sketches of suspects in fatal stabbing of British tourist

Police released sketches of two suspects April 11 in connection with the fatal February stabbing of a British tourist in San Francisco and are asking for the public’s help to identify them. Paul Tam, 48, died shortly before 11 p.m. March 24 at San Francisco General Hospital of injuries he suffered in the Feb. 18 […]

Marin coroner’s office releases sketch of man found dead at Muir Beach last month

The Marin County coroner’s office has released a sketch of an Asian man who was found dead at Muir Beach last March. Chief Deputy Coroner Darrell Harris said the man might have jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge. Fingerprints were obtained but there has not yet been a match, Harris said. The man’s estimated age […]

SoCal JA newspaper at ‘crisis point’

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles-based Japanese American newspaper The Rafu Shimpo is in danger of closing, its Publisher and President Michael Komai wrote in an open letter that was posted March 25. The Little Tokyo newspaper, whose origins date back to 1903, is currently at a “crisis point,” Komai wrote. “For the last three […]

PLAYING WITH CHIMU (Heart/Soul): Reclaiming cultural identity with the Okinawan sanshin

Chances are, if you hear Okinawan music in the Bay Area, there’s a good bet that Wesley Ueunten and his Berkeley Genyukai have something to do with it. Since 2000, Ueunten and Berkeley Genyukai have been omnipresent throughout the region, helping to showcase Okinawan music to a larger audience at various events, including the San […]

Sacramento Bonsai Club celebrates 70 years

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Believed to be the oldest bonsai club in California, the Sacramento Bonsai Club celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Founded in 1946, the club’s first meetings were held at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento at its old location on O Street. The meetings moved when Sacramento’s 1958 Redevelopment Plan forced the temple […]

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