The Nichi Bei Foundation is an innovative nonprofit educational organization, rising out of the ashes of a community-serving media legacy dating back to 1899 to launch the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country. It has evolved to create groundbreaking educational programs that sheds light on the Japanese American experience.

As the Nichi Bei Times board of directors decided to close the newspaper after 63 years in September of 2009, a group of Nichi Bei Times staff and contributing writers, media professionals and community leaders — encouraged and supported by the Japanese American community — set out to rebuild in the spirit of the immigrant pioneers, brick by brick. They established the Nichi Bei Foundation, an educational and charitable nonprofit organization, as a means to support community organizations, shed light on community issues and document the community’s history.

Just one week after the last edition of the Nichi Bei Times rolled off the presses, the very first edition of the Nichi Bei Weekly (renamed Nichi Bei News in 2023) was published as the first ethnic nonprofit newspaper of its kind in the country.

Born in one of the worst economic climates in decades, with virtually no seed money and no blueprint, the pioneering rebirth of the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly has become one of the most inspired community movements in recent memory.

Inspired by a community-serving historical legacy, the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei News have a simple yet profound mission: to keep the community connected, informed and empowered.

The Nichi Bei has groundbreaking publications to preserve and empower community such as:

  • Japanese Culture and Cherry Blossom Festivals Guide. The only annual guide to Japanese culture in the country, this special publication highlights Japanese cultural centers and springtime festivals throughout the country. In an effort to preserve Japanese culture, special features on cultural arts as well as extensive class listings are included.
  • Obon and Summer Festivals Guide. The only annual guide to Japanese summer festivals throughout the country.
  • Japanese American Community Resource Guide. Featuring maps and historic walking tours of the last three remaining Japantowns, a directory of community-based nonprofit organizations in California, a Japanese Language School Directory, historical destinations, a guide to community centers and senior centers, and cultural arts class listings.
  • San Francisco Japantown Map and Directory. The most comprehensive map and bilingual directory of Japantown.

The Nichi Bei Foundation has evolved to launch some meaningful and groundbreaking educational programs:

  • Films of Remembrance, a day-long showcase of films presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation in conjunction with the Day of Remembrance commemoration, sheds light on the forced removal and incarceration of more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent, most of whom were American citizens, into American concentration camps. More than 750 attended mostly sold-out screenings in February of 2017.
  • Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage. The Nichi Bei Foundation has led more than 1,300 people on the Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage, reconnecting the community to our forgotten legacy at the former Immigration Station, where some 85,000 persons of Japanese descent were detained between 1910 and 1940. In addition to reconnecting participants to their family legacies with the help of partners like the California Genealogical Society, the Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage honored those who rediscovered the forgotten Immigration Station barracks in the 1970s, as well as those who took up the preservation efforts shortly thereafter. Held in partnership with the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the National Japanese American Historical Society, and in collaboration with the California Parks Service, California Genealogical Society, San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Program, San Francisco Japanese American Citizens League and J-Sei.
  • The Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, with an aim to educate the public on the benefits of soy and tofu, is our signature fundraiser. The festival showcases soy and tofu vendors, Asian American entertainment, a Tofu Dessert Competition and family-fun activities. It also serves as a vehicle for community-building and leadership development.