Matt Ogawa perpetuates the cultural arts and gives back with a purpose

Whether motivating a group into action or expressing his love for his own Japanese American heritage through his involvement in a myriad of cultural activities, Matt Ogawa doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. Decades ago, his grandfather, the late Frank H. Ogawa, was a popular civil rights leader and longtime Oakland City Council member […]

Japanese dance teacher who brought joy to WWII inmates remains active at 99

LOS ANGELES — Fujima Kansuma, the legendary Japanese dancer who taught several thousand students in a career that has spanned nearly eight decades, participated in a little-known part of history when she overcame obstacles to share her art with Japanese American inmates during World War II. When hostilities erupted between America and Japan, resulting in […]

Cherry Blossom Festival celebrating 50 years and embracing the future

San Francisco’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary with organizers hoping to present a celebration of Japanese culture that is bigger than ever. This year, the two weekend-long event will host a 50th anniversary gala, more than 200 guests from Japan and expanded entertainment, including a scavenger hunt. Richard Hashimoto, who previously […]

Sacramento group preserves Japanese folk dancing and music

Through its long history, with roots dating back to the late 1940s, the Sacramento, Calif.-based Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai has gone through a few changes, but its core remains the same: a love for traditional Japanese arts. Known now for its Japanese folk dancing and music, the group wasn’t always primarily made up of […]

Japanese cultural arts classes

Editor’s Note: Don’t see your cultural group listed? Contact us at cbfguide@nichibeiweekly.org to add your group to our cultural arts class listings. Daion Taiko Location: Orange County Buddhist Church, 909 S. Dale Ave., Anaheim, Calif. Contact: (714) 827-9590, daion78@gmail.com, ocbuddhist.org Drum Revolution Location: Belmont, Calif.; Orinda, Calif. and El Cerrito, Calif. Contact: (510) 926-9780, info@drumrevolution.com, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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