‘Celebrating activism and community’ is theme of 50-year CANE anniversary on Aug. 19

Anti-eviction protests by Japantown activists and residents to be commemorated In 1975 and 1976 in San Francisco, members of the Committee Against Nihonmachi Eviction (CANE) — tired of seeing residents and small businesses being ignored and disrespected by the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) — staged sit-ins at the Mayor’s office and at the RDA office in […]

S.F.: Bill aims to replenish low-income housing destroyed in city’s ‘urban renewal’ period

A new state bill is aiming to replace the thousands of affordable housing units lost during San Francisco’s “urban renewal” period in the Western Addition and Fillmore district decades ago, announced state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, on Feb. 16. If passed, Wiener’s State Bill 593 would aim to rebuild over 5,800 low- and middle-income […]

Japantown community discusses potential impacts of San Francisco Housing Element

With the San Francisco Housing Element due to be finalized in January of next year, the Japantown Task Force hosted a community meeting Nov. 30 to discuss how the ethnic enclave will likely be affected by the latest “road map” for housing in San Francisco. The Housing Element is a document that is updated every […]

Salt Lake City’s historic Japantown plans for facelift

After more than a decade of fighting for preservation and conducting a planning process during a global pandemic, Salt Lake City’s historic Japantown community has secured plans and a commitment from public officials to preserve its place in the city’s downtown. With the city’s approval this past April of the Japantown Design Strategy and Guidelines, […]

S.F. J-Town’s redevelopment-era transformation

THE GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC: JAPANESE AMERICANS AND THE REMAKING OF SAN FRANCISCO By Meredith Oda (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019, 304 pp., $35, paperback) My first visit to San Francisco’s Japantown occurred in May 1974. It came about when I, along with two colleagues in the Japanese American Project of the Oral History […]

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 […]

LETTERS: In support of the Issei Commemorative Garden

Dear Editor, The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) joins others in support of the Issei Commemorative Garden. This garden, to be created at the site of the Cottage Row Mini-Park, would serve as a backdrop to a unique neighborhood story and experience. Prior to World War II, the Japantown community was a vibrant residential and […]

The story of the Little Tokyo that could … and will

Diversity in Los Angeles is a core value. The city has residents from more than 140 countries who speak 86 languages. It’s full of diverse ethnic enclaves, including the neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, Chinatown, Koreatown, Leimert Park, Little Tokyo, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Fairfax’s Jewish-Russian community, and Little Bangladesh — to name only a few. […]

‘Tex’ Nakamura, civil rights advocate who worked with Wayne Collins, dies

Tetsujiro “Tex” Nakamura, a civil rights advocate who became involved in redevelopment issues in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo after World War II and an attorney who worked closely with attorney Wayne Collins on the World War II Japanese American renunciation cases, the Tokyo Rose Iva Toguri d’Aquino case and the Japanese Latin American cases, passed […]

Developers meet with Sequoias to discuss condominium project

A New York-based developer wants to build a high-rise in San Francisco’s Japantown, but its proposal has fallen mostly on deaf ears, with one community leader likening the plan to the dark days of the redevelopment era. Dozens of residents living in the Sequoias, a senior housing complex, and several representatives from local community organizations […]