THE HEART OF KANJI: Cherry Blossom Festival

桜 (Sakura) means “cherry blossom,” which consists of three parts. The left side represents a tree; the top right side represents a cherry flower necklace; and below that is a woman sitting. Together, the cherry blossom resembles a beautiful woman wearing a cherry blossom. 祭り (Matsuri) means “festival,” which consists of two parts. The top […]

Festival promotes San Jose Japantown’s culture and businesses

SAN JOSE — The pounding beats of San Jose Taiko drums ushered in the Spirit of Japantown Festival in the ethnic enclave on Oct. 1. Thousands converged to partake in food, live entertainment, the Kids Activity Zone and arts and crafts, among other highlights. Robert Handa, a KTVU reporter and master of ceremonies, said that […]

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 […]

SoCal festivals make summertime joyful

Obon is a traditional Buddhist event to honor and express gratitude to one’s ancestors for the gift of life. As a celebration of the legacy passed down by one’s ancestors, most of the local Japanese Buddhist temples’ Obon festivals feature Bon Odori (dancing) and various types of entertainment, along with food, games, farmers markets, flower […]

Obon traditions and celebrations in Maui, SF

In March 2009, the Rev. Ronald Kobata became minister of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. Kobata said that it’s “quite an honor” to be a reverend at the first congregation of Buddhist Churches of America, founded in 1898, and to lead a congregation in his hometown — something he said that he never expected […]

San Jose Japantown’s Nikkei Matsuri shares Japanese heritage

SAN JOSE — Offering a mix of art, food, and entertainment, the 34th annual Nikkei Matsuri drew swarms of people to San Jose’s Japantown on May 1. The drumbeats of San Jose Taiko filled the air as shoppers perused vendor booths and diners feasted on teriyaki burgers and Spam musubi. Other activities included Yu-Ai Kai […]

Berkeley Buddhist Temple’s annual bazaar and festival May 21-22

BERKELEY — The Berkeley Buddhist Temple will hold its 62nd annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 at 2121 Channing Way. The annual fundraiser will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. May 21, and noon to 7 p.m. May 22. June Kuramoto and Kimo Cornwell of the […]

34th Nikkei Matsuri in San Jose’s Japantown on May 1

SAN JOSE — The sound of taiko drums will announce the start of San Jose Japantown’s 34th annual Nikkei Matsuri on Sunday, May 1. The festival celebrates the Japanese American community’s heritage and culture. The event, held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., takes place at Fifth and Jackson streets in the heart of San […]

Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Sister City ties and calls for relief

CUPERTINO, Calif. — The 28th annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival honoring the Sister City relationship with Toyokawa, Japan will be held Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Memorial Park on Stevens Creek Boulevard across from De Anza College. In 1983, a delegation from Toyokawa, Japan visited […]