Japanese cultural classes

Taiko San Francisco GenRyu Arts Location: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., S.F.’s Japantown Contact: (415) 420-3151, info@genryuarts.org, www.genryuarts.org Maikaze Daiko Location: Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., S.F. Contact: (415) 513-7798, info@maikazedaiko.org, www.maikazedaiko.org San Francisco Taiko Dojo Classes: 212 Ryan Way South San Francisco, CA  94080 Contact: (415) 928-2456, […]

In karate, manners matter

On a Friday evening, the seven students in Sensei Naohiro Tomiyama’s Japantown-based Enshin Karate dojo spar with each other in two-minute battles, kicking, punching and pulling at each other’s uniforms. When Tomiyama-sensei’s timer dings, it’s always the same thing: A handshake, a bow and a polite thank you. Then onto the next classmate for another […]

MUSHAKOJI SENKE: The Third Way of Tea

Following the creation of the Japanese tea ceremony by Rikyu Sen in the 16th century, the school eventually split into three. The most well-known of the three are the Omotesenke and Urasenke schools, both with branches in San Francisco. The third and smallest school, practiced only by a handful of people on the West Coast, […]

Finding rare books, inner peace at Forest Books

Situated in the Buchanan Mall (Osaka Way) just a few stores away from Sutter Street is Forest Books, where the books are rare and the zendo floats. A 40-year zen Buddhist who studied writing, Forest Books owner Gregory Wood said he wanted to open a business that followed the Buddhist idea of right livelihood — […]

THE BEAUTY OF BRUSHSTROKES: Akie Karahashi and the art of shodo

Akie Karahashi, a Bay Area Japanese language and shodo teacher, organizes a display of select works of calligraphy at the festival. Karahashi talks about her passion for the art and the beauty that she sees in the characters. Nichi Bei Weekly: What do you find beautiful about calligraphy? Akie Karahashi: We write on white paper […]

TRANSFORMING TRASH INTO TREASURES: Sogetsu ikebana as a means of expression

When people use the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” it often refers to someone’s desire to collect unusual items. For an ikebanist, however, this trash can make up the final component of a beautiful piece of art. “We always look out for things … that you can incorporate with fresh material or […]

SHORINJI KEMPO: Strength and serenity

In the basement of Sokoji Soto  Mission in San Francisco’s Japantown, 16 men and women, clad all in white, are fighting. In pairs, they send strong kicks to their opponents’ chests, hurling loud, menacing shouts. Kicks and punches are blocked with quick arm thrusts and, fairly often, grown men are lifted off their feet, hurdle […]

THE SOUND OF THE SOUL: Self-expression through shakuhachi

Six musicians gather in a semi-circle in a cavernous East Bay performance space. The room is quiet until they lift their shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). With the first notes, their heads rock from side to side, cheeks puffing, eyebrows darting upward along with particularly dramatic notes. The sounds reverberate against the walls, long wavering notes […]

2013 Day of Remembrance events

SUNDAY, FEB. 10 In memory of the Nikkei who were detained in Hawai‘i during World War II, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i will celebrate its Day of Remembrance at 1 p.m. at its Manoa Grand Ballroom, 2454 South Beretania St., Honolulu. The event will explore the lessons of the wartime incarceration of persons of […]

DEDICATION AND PATIENCE: Understanding the disciplines of naginata

Naginata, a type of Japanese spear, has a rich history within Japan’s martial arts, and has historically been known for its abundance of female practitioners. “The naginata is favored by women because the long staff uses the whole body and centrifugal force,” said Miyako Tanaka, kyoshi (master and teacher) and vice president of The Northern […]

Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification