Community News

Teachers respond to fire in S.F.’s Western Addition

Cecily Ina-Lee stood in the recess yard at Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood May 13 when a colleague told her smoke was rising from an apartment complex behind the school. The Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program teacher quickly dialed 911. Ina-Lee ran toward the building, located at 10 Inca Lane, “to […]

Fighting back against anti-Asian hate

After being a victim of what she described as an anti-Asian verbal incident in August 2020 in Los Angeles that went viral online, Hong Lee decided to take action for the Asian American community. After taking a self-defense class at Box for Change, Los Angeles, Lee began talking to a few friends about how they […]

Queen Stephanie Misa Doi and court embark on year-long JA journey

The AMC Kabuki 8 in San Francisco’s Japantown was packed for the 2022 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program April 9, signaling a return to form for the annual program for young professional Japanese American women. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a major break in tradition as the in-person festival was canceled in 2020. The […]

Pioneering NYC taiko group Soh Daiko continues to transform itself

It’s another snowy Saturday afternoon in New York, but this has not kept members of taiko group Soh Daiko from holding their normal practice. As the days relentlessly beat toward their Carnegie Hall citywide performance at the end of March, members follow hours of drills and practice with a run through of their performance, energetically […]

The roots of California bonsai, the Issei and Nisei artists of yesteryear

The art of bonsai has contended with a number of challenges throughout the years. Unlike other works of art, bonsai plants are alive and continue growing even after the artist has long since passed. Rooted in Issei and Nisei hobbyist practitioners, bonsai is a curious art split along generational lines in America. “I think I […]

Ikebana showcases nature’s beauty

Ikebana can help one see nature with a different perspective, particularly as practitioners bring beauty into their homes, said Thanh Nguyen, president of the Ikebana Teachers Federation.  Ikebana can teach people “how to take the beauty from nature and apply it to your normal life,” she told the Nichi Bei Weekly in a phone interview. […]

Mental health program helps AAPI youth

Last November, Changing Tides created CT Stream, a free Little Tokyo Service Center therapy program aimed at providing assistance for Asian American and Pacific Islander youth experiencing mental health issues. The program, located in Los Angeles, provides six to 10 therapy sessions per participant. The Changing Tides program was established in 2018. “As we’ve grown and as […]

Mark Matsuno, Hollywood graphic designer and artist, dies at 69

Not many people knew Mark Matsuno by name, but his lifetime of work has touched countless people without them ever noticing. The San Francisco-native, born March 24, 1952, moved down to Los Angeles at the age of 20 to work in advertising and specialized in producing printed promotional materials for Hollywood movies. Working on marketing […]

East Bay senior center pioneers look back at roots

Continuing J-Sei’s celebration of its 50th anniversary, the organization held its “Cultivating Communities: Legacy of Centers in the East Bay” virtual event Oct. 21 to discuss the history of the Nikkei senior centers that originated from students organizing at the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. Kevin Toyama, a J-Sei board member, moderated the discussion […]

Joy in Japangeles

Japangeles, a Los Angeles Little Tokyo streetwear clothing shop, had to close its doors for more than half of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Roy Kuroyanagi, a Sansei, established the store in 2010, its Website states. He had always been interested in clothing and streetwear and “wanted to find a way to express my […]

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