Community News

Nicole Tachiki named 2018 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen

San Francisco’s 51st annual Cherry Blossom Festival crowned its 2018 queen April 14 during the ceremony held at the AMC Kabuki 8 in the city’s Japantown. The program, emceed by KTVU-TV reporter Jana Katsuyama and KGO-TV reporter David Louie, had Lauren Kieva Matsuno, Rachel Mika Kawawaki, Maya Hernandez, Nicole Tachiki and Emiri Sakurai vying for […]

Tea for two

In San Francisco’s Outer Richmond district, Larry Sokyo Tiscornia, 69, and Kimika Soko Takechi, 68, teach tea as members of San Francisco Urasenke Tankokai. The couple met while taking Saturday tea classes with Soko Kobara, founder of the Tankokai, and have since been together, teaching all aspects of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Prior to […]

Ikebana to go: Kiyo’s Floral Design delivers ikebana-inspired creations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For designer Lisa Taira, every flower arrangement she creates is one that comes from the heart — even if it’s just one flower. “It’s not just a single flower because it has so much meaning to the person who is actually buying it to give to someone,” said Taira, the owner of […]

Matt Ogawa perpetuates the cultural arts and gives back with a purpose

Whether motivating a group into action or expressing his love for his own Japanese American heritage through his involvement in a myriad of cultural activities, Matt Ogawa doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. Decades ago, his grandfather, the late Frank H. Ogawa, was a popular civil rights leader and longtime Oakland City Council member […]

Ikebana teacher follows family’s legacy of service, sees ‘revival’ in the art

Her grandfather, the Rev. Shozen Naito, was a minister at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda before World War II; her grandmother taught Sogetsu ikebana in the 1970s and Japanese language at the same temple. Her father, Kiyoshi Naito, served as the temple’s board president for three different terms. Following two generations of family leadership at […]

Tiffany Tamaribuchi’s multifaceted Sacramento Taiko Dan family

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — “My mom would say from the time I could walk, I would stand in front of the taiko,” said 51-year-old Tiffany Tamaribuchi, recalling her earliest encounter with the drums at a Sacramento Obon festival. Her captivation with the Japanese drum would lead her to establish Sacramento Taiko Dan in 1989 at just […]

S.F. Cherry Blossom Queen candidates announced

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program presented its 2018 queen candidates during its annual preview March 11 at the Union Bank Community Room in San Francisco’s Japantown. The queen program, a highlight of San Francisco’s annual cherry blossom festival, will take place Saturday, April 14 at the AMC Kabuki 8. The candidates are: […]

Sakura Grove to bloom in Sacramento’s Southside Park

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hanami, or flower viewing, is the Japanese tradition of gathering under sakura (cherry blossom) trees to enjoy the annual spring blossoms with friends and family. In Japan, people travel from all across the country to experience hanami in various regions. Cherry blossom trees can be viewed in a few places in the […]

Man injured when shots fired into home in Japantown early Dec. 17

A 63-year-old man was injured when someone shot into his home in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood early morning Dec. 17, police said. The shooting was reported at 1:52 a.m. Dec. 17 in the 1600 block of Webster Street. The victim was in his home and heard gunshots outside, then realized he had been struck in […]

Minami Tamaki LLP recognized by Asian Pacific Fund for leadership in philanthropy

In recognition of their decades of commitment to Asian Pacific American community concerns and philanthropic endeavors, the Minami Tamaki LLP law firm — rooted in historic legal cases such as overturning the World War II conviction of civil rights icon Fred Korematsu for resisting relocation orders — were presented the Leadership in Philanthropy Award by […]

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