Community News

First Nichi Bei Day of Giving to raise funds through Sept. 4

In order to raise critically-needed funds, support a small but dedicated staff, and create a reserve fund, the Nichi Bei Foundation has launched its first Nichi Bei Day of Giving now through Monday, Sept. 4. Through Labor Day, a series of online and check donations will be met with matching grants, helping to address the […]

A century of growth

One hundred years ago, Gijiu Kitazawa established the seed company that still bears his name. He first worked as an apprentice for a seed company in Japan before immigrating to the U.S. at the age of 22. In 1916, Gijiu and his brother Buemon started the Kitazawa Brothers Nursery and Seed Company in San Jose, […]

Bone marrow match needed to help save reverend’s life

Japanese American bone marrow donors are needed to potentially save the life of the Rev. Shuichi “Thomas” Kurai, who was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia-lymphoma in January. As is the case with most minority populations, the potential Japanese American donor count in the national marrow and stem cell registry is extremely low. According to Mylanah Yolangco, […]

Celebrating the soy bean: 2017 Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival

The Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival returned to The Event Center at Saint Mary’s Cathedral June 17 in San Francisco to celebrate the many applications of the soy bean. Paired with music, games and its annual Soy and Tofu Dessert Competition, the seventh annual fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation, publishers of the Nichi […]

S.F.’s J-Town to vote for benefits district by July 25

As San Francisco’s Japantown Community Benefit District goes to a ballot, the Japantown Task Force held an informational meeting June 27 to help answer property owners’ questions about the proposed assessment on their properties. The official city ballot initiative will be among the final deciding factors on whether the commercial benefit district will be formed […]

Soto Zen reverend’s off-the-beaten path to S.F.

The two largest Buddhists sects in Japan are Jodo Shinshu and Soto Shu. Jodo Shinshu boasts the most number of practitioners in Japan,  while Soto Shu claims the title of most number of temples, said the Rev. Koshi Kurotaki, resident minister of the Soto Mission of San Francisco Sokoji. And while Zen Buddhism has become […]

JA follows his father’s footsteps into the Konko ministry

While Buddhists begin to celebrate their annual remembrances of their ancestors during Obon, the Konko faith considers the universe an eternal home for everybody. Furthermore, believers remember ancestors’ spirits throughout the year. “I pray to their spirits whenever I remember,” Alan Matsui Sensei said in an e-mail interview with the Nichi Bei Weekly. “I pray […]

Obon dancing in America: Reverend Yoshio Iwanaga photo album

(Editor’s Note: The following was excerpted from an online exhibit curated by Wynn Kiyama, executive director of Portland Taiko and director of the Portland State University Taiko Ensemble. Photos courtesy of Portland State University Library). Yoshio Iwanaga (1900-1950) was a Japanese Buddhist minister who moved to California in 1930 and introduced doyo buyo (children’s dance) and Bon Odori (Obon […]

School’s in session in S.F.’s Japantown

Following some five years of planning, fundraising and construction, Nihonmachi Little Friends opened its doors to its new Sutter Street building May 19 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by several dozen of those involved with the preschool. Founded in 1975 to provide community-based Japanese bilingual and multicultural childcare, the preschool located in San Francisco’s Japantown […]

FROM SUMO TO MUSIC: Former Ozeki KONISHIKI to be Grand Marshal of parade

Hail the conquering hero … once again. When KONISHIKI last came to the Bay Area in 1996, the much celebrated sumo wrestler in Japan was taking a victory lap of sorts at a tournament in San Jose while he wound down a history-making career. Sunday, April 16 in San Francisco, the Hawai‘i-born KONISHIKI will return […]

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