JACL seeks stories for book on Watsonville’s Japantown

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — The Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) seeks stories from current and past residents of Watsonville, or the general Santa Cruz County and Parajo Valley areas, as it writes “Watsonville Nihonmachi: Then and Now.” The group hopes to incorporate stories about life in the area before and after […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: The dilemma of defining and preserving a fragmented community

I took some time off to recharge my batteries, to use an old cliché, and now I’m back. In that interval, our nation has gone through such turbulence it is hard to think clearly about the state of politics, the economy, and the future. Well, daily life goes on and we all have to try […]

SOU SOU: Turning traditional kimono into cool contemporary clothing

Kyoto is often known for its high-end traditional arts and culture, and as a city, is proud of its heritage as Japan’s ancient capital. Normally, the products from Kyoto are high quality and ornate — kimono that sell for thousands of dollars and austere traditional tea ceremonies that remain preserved from hundreds of years ago. […]

J-Pop a draw for crowds

Two years after the opening of the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown, the third annual J-Pop Summit Festival took place over the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28. The festival expanded to two days for the first time, thanks to fans who raised money through Kickstarter, a platform that funds creative projects. The […]

Noda is Japan’s new prime minister, fills key DPJ posts

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Yoshihiko Noda was named Aug. 30 as Japan’s next prime minister, the sixth in five years, and he immediately set to work selecting key ruling party executives who he believes are best equipped to achieve his goals of reconstructing quake-ravaged areas and restoring the nation’s precarious fiscal health. Finance Minister Noda, 54, […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Affordable summer sippers

About a month ago, the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted an article entitled “20 World-Class Wines You Should Know, All $20 Or Less,” which got me thinking: “I can also do a list of affordable wines”… Of course, the pockets of the Gochiso Gourmet don’t run as deep as the Chronicle or Hearst Communications, so here’s […]

Nikkei Community Internship program celebrates 10 years, current class

When surveying community programs a decade ago, Japanese American leaders found a lack of meaningful activities for young people. “There had been a vacuum for a long time of new programs (for young people),” said Jon Osaki, the executive director of Japanese Community Youth Council. In an effort to engage Japanese American young people, the […]

Takahashi Fellows reflect on time spent in Japan

Ten youth recently returned to San Francisco following their trip to Japan, through the inaugural Takahashi Ambassador Youth Fellowship Program, organized by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) and sponsored by The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. The students are: Mina Han, Owen Iwamasa Angeline Junaedy, Grant Kawahatsu, Yumi Kobayashi, […]

C(API)TOL CORRESPONDENT: Monster APA campaigns set to battle it out in the City

San Francisco’s mayoral race has turned into a Toho Studios version of “All Monsters Attack” with a bevy of political heavyweights poised for a no-holds-barred “Battle Royale” that includes the most impressive lineup of Asian Pacific American (APA) candidates in the history of the 7×7 mile city. The list includes State Senator Leland Yee, Interim […]

Better Neighborhood Plan fields community input before revision draft

San Francisco Japantown community members attended a meeting held at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) on July 31 to discuss potential changes to the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan (BNP). About 50 people — including project members, city employees and even District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi — attended the event. The […]

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