Legacy Society

(This information is not intended as tax or legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your legal and financial advisors to learn how a legacy gift to the Nichi Bei Foundation would work in your circumstances.)

In the late 1800s, Kyutaro Abiko left his native Niigata, Japan with very little in his pocket, but big dreams for a land far across the Pacific Ocean. Little did he know how he would impact generations to come.

He not only established the most influential prewar Japanese American newspaper, the Nichi Bei Shimbun, in 1899, Abiko  and his wife Yona were unparalleled community leaders

Kyutaro Abiko established a labor contracting company that brought workers from Japan, three farming colonies in the Central Valley of California, a bank, a program to send young Nisei to Japan to learn about their cultural heritage, and community directories that would someday help historians piece together maps of Japantowns long after the neighborhoods were gone.

Nichi Bei Legacy

Kyutaro Abiko is, for all intents and purposes, known by many as the most influential Japanese immigrant to America. He encouraged Issei pioneers to give up on their sojourner dreams of going back to Japan, and instead set roots in the United States, their adopted country.

The Nichi Bei newspapers not only kept the rapidly-growing and geographically-dispersed growing population connected and informed, but it documented its highs and lows, including the impending wartime exclusion.

 

 

His wife Yona, the younger sister of Tsuda College founder Umeko Tsuda, was a pioneer in her own right. Together with her husband, they developed a program to send young Nisei to Japan to learn about their cultural heritage. Yona became publisher of the Nichi Bei Shimbun after the passing of her husband in 1936

Yona Abiko also was the chief fundraiser for the San Francisco Japanese YWCA. Decades later her diary served as key evidence in the legal battle to keep the property in community hands.

The Abiko family left a strong foundation for future generations, which continued with their son, Yasuo, who helped to restart the Nichi Bei Times after World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPTION:

Yona and Kyutaro Abiko with son Yasuo at their home on Union Street, San Francisco, 1918.

 

 

 

 

The Nichi Bei Foundation is a proud beneficiary of this legacy, as we continue to keep the Japanese American community connected, informed and empowered for generations to come.

 

 

 

How can YOUR legacy become a part of OURS?

To help ensure long-term sustainability of our community-serving institution, we are proud to announce the Nichi Bei Legacy Society. Through a legacy gift to the Nichi Bei Foundation, YOU can help ensure that succeeding generations of Japanese Americans will remain connected and informed.

The Nichi Bei Foundation is one of the oldest legacy organizations in the Japanese American community, yet the youngest nonprofit organization as well. Because we rose from the ashes of the historic Nichi Bei Times in 2009, we also missed a lot of support from the Nisei generation.

As we strive to preserve our culture and community, while documenting our history for generations to come, we hope that YOUR legacy will become a part of OURS.

What is planned giving?

What is the Nichi Bei Legacy Society? Or planned giving? For a brief explanation, we enlisted the help of Nichi Bei Foundation Board Member Laurie Shigekuni and estate planning attorney Yuka Ohashi Merritt.

(This information is not intended as tax or legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your legal and financial advisors to learn how a legacy gift to the Nichi Bei Foundation would work in your circumstances).


Testimonials

The grandchildren of Nichi Bei Shimbun publishers Kyutaro and Yona Abiko, who are daughters of Nichi Bei Times pioneers Yasuo and Lily Abiko are joining the Nichi Bei Legacy Society as charter members.

Joan Ishihara, Grace Abiko and Beth Abiko Gibson explain why they think it’s important to make a legacy gift to maintain an institution so deeply rooted in their family’s tradition of community service.

The Japanese American community is evolving, and the Nichi Bei Foundation is needed to help preserve and pass on Japanese American culture and community values within a changing community.

We hope you will consider making YOUR legacy a part of OURS, by joining the Nichi Bei Legacy Society.


Charter members of the Nichi Bei Legacy Society

Joan Ishihara, granddaughter of Kyutaro and Yona Abiko and daughter of Yasuo and Lily Abiko

Grace Abiko, granddaughter of Kyutaro and Yona Abiko and daughter of Yasuo and Lily Abiko

Beth Abiko Gibson, granddaughter of Kyutaro and Yona Abiko and daughter of Yasuo and Lily Abiko

Bill Abiko, grandson of Kyutaro and Yona Abiko and son of Yasuo and Lily Abiko


For more information on joining the Nichi Bei Legacy Society, please e-mail donate@nichibeifoundation.org

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