Kinmon Gakuen celebrates 100 years of Japanese language instruction

Kinmon Gakuen, also known as the Golden Gate Institute, celebrated 100 years of Japanese language and culture education recently in San Francisco’s Japantown. In a gathering of former students, teachers and administrators on Oct. 29, community members also helped to celebrate the historic milestone at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. “We are dedicated […]

S.F. jazz club transforms into one-day Japanese cultural center

Yoshi’s Jazz Club and Japanese Restaurant opened its doors to the public on Oct. 1 to feature its fourth annual “The Flip Side of Yoshi’s,” a day of Japanese art and culture. Nearly 250 people packed the venue, located just outside of San Francisco’s Japantown, to experience the art and spirit of Japanese culture. The […]

SOU SOU: Turning traditional kimono into cool contemporary clothing

Kyoto is often known for its high-end traditional arts and culture, and as a city, is proud of its heritage as Japan’s ancient capital. Normally, the products from Kyoto are high quality and ornate — kimono that sell for thousands of dollars and austere traditional tea ceremonies that remain preserved from hundreds of years ago. […]

J-Pop a draw for crowds

Two years after the opening of the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown, the third annual J-Pop Summit Festival took place over the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28. The festival expanded to two days for the first time, thanks to fans who raised money through Kickstarter, a platform that funds creative projects. The […]

Takahashi Fellows reflect on time spent in Japan

Ten youth recently returned to San Francisco following their trip to Japan, through the inaugural Takahashi Ambassador Youth Fellowship Program, organized by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) and sponsored by The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. The students are: Mina Han, Owen Iwamasa Angeline Junaedy, Grant Kawahatsu, Yumi Kobayashi, […]

Fun With Marketing: Children’s Films in Japan

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Chinese consumer power is going to mean for images of Asian people in Hollywood films — (even if offending Asian Americans doesn’t effect a studio’s bottom line enough for it to be an issue, offending Chinese viewers, or the Chinese government, has real monetary consequences). I’ll probably write […]

A sampling of Bay Area cultural classes

Traditional Japanese Music and Dance Odori (Dance) Ensohza Minyoshu at Crissy Field Center, Presidio, SF Schedule: Sun. (twice a month), 5-7 p.m. Cost: Sessions are free. Students must make a commitment to joining the performance group, which entails costume costs and other occasional fees for training with master teachers. Contact: info@enzohza.org. Training in Japanese folk dance […]

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Kodo readies tour for Bay Area

Forty-five kilometers (28 miles) off the coast of Honshu in the Sea of Japan lies an island the size of New York City. Mountainous and sparsely populated, Sado-ga-shima preserves a rural lifestyle nearly gone from the urban mainland. Drawn by this setting, a group of idealistic students moved here in the 1970s to found a […]

Japanese snacks now part of local favorites in New York’s East Village

NEW YORK — Tradition is not the first word that comes to mind when one plans a visit to Manhattan’s East Village, sometimes referred to as New York’s counterculture capital known for punk rock, new wave bands, drug dealers and tattoo parlors. But the area, loosely spreading between First and Third avenues in lower Manhattan, […]

Dance master promotes Okinawan culture in the Bay Area

Noriyoshi Arakaki has been going back to his birthplace of Okinawa almost every year for the last 32 years since he moved to Hayward, Calif., where he owns a gardening business. This time, his visit had a special meaning. “I saw a banner in the National Theater Okinawa in Naha” — Okinawa’s capital — “that […]

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