Statement from former CANE members on the sale of the Buchanan Hotel in S.F. Japantown

The Committee Against Nihonmachi Eviction (CANE) 50th Anniversary Committee formed ten months ago to commemorate CANE’s fight to preserve San Francisco’s Japantown and to share this history with future generations. Coincidentally our committee’s work is taking place during intense community discussions about the future of the Buchanan Hotel site and Japantown as a whole. Even […]

City slows down process to pursue S.F. Japantown hotel for permanent housing

As pressure from San Francisco Japantown community members mounts, the city has emphasized its intent to slow down the proposal to purchase the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel at 1800 Sutter St. introduced mid-August, while the city supervisor whose district includes the ethnic enclave proposed two other hotels to purchase. San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive […]

Public statement by the Japantown community regarding the proposed purchase of the Hotel Buchanan by the City and County of San Francisco

This statement is a demand that the Hotel Buchanan be removed from further consideration of City acquisition. Many have tried to paint this as a Japantown vs. the unhoused issue, or just another not-in-my-backyard reaction. It is an age-old tactic to pit vulnerable communities against one another. We will not be used. San Franciscans pride […]

S.F. proposal to purchase of Buchanan Hotel to convert into housing draws fire

The city of San Francisco shocked many within its Japantown community by announcing plans to buy one of two tourist hotels located in the ethnic enclave in order to convert it into permanent supportive housing. “I was shocked, but I was also pissed that something like this would happen, and that it would be fast-tracked,” […]

Sacramento’s J-Town to lose longtime business as neighborhood continues to change

Sacramento’s once thriving Japantown was devastated in the 1950s as redevelopment pushed much of the Japanese American community out of what is now downtown Sacramento. A pocket of Nikkei businesses relocated south of the original ethnic enclave, but few Japanese American businesses remain today, and one more store has announced their closing at the end […]

S.F.: New crosswalk at Buchanan Street to ‘calm the Geary Expressway’

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency introduced a new crosswalk at Buchanan and Geary streets in late July in an effort to make the roadway between Japantown and the Fillmore neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly. The three-mile stretch is considered to be one of the city’s most dangerous crossing areas, as pedestrians are eight times more likely to […]

The Bay Area’s Japantowns adjust to the new normal

With California’s June 15 economic reopening, businesses across the San Francisco Bay Area have gained a new sense of normalcy. The recovery process has varied according to individual businesses, even among the region’s two Japantowns. A Mixed Bag of Results in San Francisco’s Japantown When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced bars could reopen May 6 with […]

Owners of Benkyodo, S.F. J-Town’s oldest business, plan to retire at end of year

Japanese confections have been a San Francisco Japantown staple for more than a century, and while several similar businesses have come and gone, Benkyodo Company remains the last one standing, serving up fresh handmade mochi to customers since 1906. Community members, however, are learning that Bobby and Ricky Okamura, the brothers who run the shop, […]

Sawtelle’s Japantown businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic

Sawtelle’s Japanese American coommunity, which thrived in both the prewar and postwar periods as a majority-Nikkei West Los Angeles neighborhood, has now seen many of its businesses suffer financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The area was recognized by the city as “Sawtelle Japantown” in 2015. Sandy Toshiyuki, owner of a building on Sawtelle […]

Supe, Japantown leaders call for vandalized cherry blossom trees to be replaced

A week after cherry blossom trees in San Francisco’s Japantown were found vandalized, Supervisor Dean Preston and leaders from the city’s Japanese community on Jan. 12 called for the trees to be replaced. On Jan. 5, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California took to Facebook to report that two trees outside their […]

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