San Francisco’s Japantown plans for preservation

San Francisco’s Japantown experienced several notable changes in 2017 and aims to implement and secure resources for the continuity of one of the nation’s last three historical Japantowns. As the ethnic enclave moves forward into 2018, several organizations based in the neighborhood must seriously consider their mission and focus for the coming years. New Organization […]

San Jose Tofu, a Japanese American institution, to close

SAN JOSE — After more than seven decades of handcrafting tofu from scratch, San Jose Japantown’s iconic San Jose Tofu will close its doors for good Dec. 30, leaving a community in mourning over the loss of one of Japanese America’s most unique businesses. “We’re tired, and while I’m still able to walk, we want […]

LETTERS: Rename the Embarcadero Plaza after Yori Wada

Rename the Embarcadero Plaza after Yori Wada Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent in response to an article that appeared in the Nov. 23, 2017 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Dear Editor, Thank you for your article “Remembering S.F. Japantown legend Yori Wada.” It reminded me of just how dedicated and insightful he […]

Rec and Park Commission votes 4-2 to rename Justin Herman Plaza

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission voted 4-2 Nov. 16 to drop the name of former Redevelopment Agency head Justin Herman from a prominent city plaza at the foot of Market Street, but the question of who it will be named for instead remains unresolved. The commission’s vote Nov. 16 was its second take […]

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 […]

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 […]

Numerous leadership changes at Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo nonprofits

LOS ANGELES — After a long period of stability, various nonprofit organizations in Little Tokyo have experienced significant leadership changes the past few years. Dean Matsubayashi took over at the Little Tokyo Service Center, Leslie Ito at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Mitchell Maki at the Go For Broke National Educational Center. […]

San Jose Obon delivers comforting familiarity to community

This year’s Obon festival in San Jose’s Japantown, which took place July 9 and July 10, was the same as it is every year: parking was nearly impossible to find, a line extended all the way from Jackson Street around the corner to North Fifth Street for the shave ice sold at Shuei-do Manju Shop, […]

INVITING PEOPLE INTO THE FOLD: Sisters advance the art of origami

Raised around the art of origami, Linda Mihara and Vicky Mihara Avery have unfolded the public’s fascination with making art from a single sheet of paper. Recognized as paperfolders, the Mihara sisters have helped establish the art of origami both nationally and internationally. Most recently, Linda Mihara co-curated “Origami Living World” at the National History […]

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