Community News

San Jose Taiko reflects upon its evolution in community-centered arts

As the iconic San Jose Taiko approaches their 45th anniversary concert later this month, the Nichi Bei Weekly caught up with Executive Director Wisa Uemura and Artistic Director Franco Imperial via e-mail to discuss the group’s transition from its founding pioneers, their approach to creative collaborations, and what the future has in store for the […]

S.F. Japantown vigil opposes family separations and travel ban

Japanese Americans gathered on the evening of Aug. 9 in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza to convey their solidarity against the continued attacks the Trump administration orchestrates against minorities in the United States. Hundreds of activists, both young and old, withstood the chilly evening to hear first-hand experiences of immigrants and the voices of veteran […]

Evolving and interactive Soy and Tofu Festival highlights the variety of the bean

In its annual mission to share the many applications of soy with the general public, the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival welcomed soy aficionados back to The Event Center at Saint Mary’s Cathedral June 30 in San Francisco. With expanded cooking demonstrations and activities, the eighth annual fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation invited […]

College dean becomes Tenrikyo Church minister

WEST COVINA, Calif. – The Rev. Koji Uesugi, a fourth-generation Tenrikyo faith follower who previously had misgivings about succeeding his late father — the Rev. Takeo Uesugi — became the head minister last year at a Tenrikyo church in West Covina, as well as having a leadership role at the Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in America […]

Several ministerial changes in Northern Calif. Buddhist Churches

Along with the start of the new year, several Buddhist temples in Northern California welcomed new ministers to lead their congregations. The ministers’ main goal is to maintain the welcoming atmosphere the temple members have showed them in return. Second Home for a Big Family For 29-year-old Rev. Matthew Hamasaki, growing up at the Berkeley […]

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 […]

Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification