In the midst of the global pandemic, waiting game continues for Bay Area J-Towns

Two historic ethnic enclaves in the Greater Bay Area are among the communities that began May having learned that they must endure another month of shelter-in-place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Since temporarily shuttering most businesses March 17, only a few essential businesses, mostly restaurants, continue to operate in San Francisco and San Jose’s Japantowns […]

Famed judo coach Yosh Uchida to celebrate 100th birthday

Yoshihiro Uchida, the legendary coach who helped make San Jose State University a collegiate powerhouse in judo for decades, will celebrate his 100th birthday on April 1. He had hoped to visit Japan later this year for the Tokyo Olympics, but those plans are uncertain because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Uchida was born in […]

Dr. Jerry Hiura, arts leader and dentist, dies

Dr. Jerrold Hiura, a San Jose Japantown dentist, leader in the arts community and co-founder of Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, passed away after battling late-stage esophageal cancer on Dec. 26, 2019. He was 72. Hiura was born in Chicago, and he moved with his family to the San Jose when he was seven. At the […]

Arts center on hold while commercial developments move forward

SAN JOSE — As San Jose’s Japantown finally sees construction begin at the site of the city’s former Corporation Yard and its historic Chinatown, community members expressed hope as the long-delayed project is now pouring concrete. Part of the development, however, has been put on hold, with costs becoming too high to move forward on […]

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 […]

New book helps to make San Jose’s Japantown more accessible

After some 15 years on a volunteer project, pouring over hundreds of photographs for a seminal volume on San Jose’s Japantown, you would think that it would be easy to walk away once that project was complete. But not for Japantown photographer and businessman James “Jim” Nagareda. A new opportunity arose to further document the […]

PLAYING FOR COMMUNITY: San Jose Taiko founders P.J. and Roy Hirabayashi

Known both locally and internationally, P.J. and Roy Hirabayashi were among the latest inductees to the Hokka Nichibei Kai (Japanese American Association of Northern California) Bunka Hall of Fame during its annual New Year’s party Jan. 28, alongside fellow San Jose’s Japantown cultural arts icon Reiko Iwanaga (Reimichi Hanayagi). The Hirabayashis, founders of San Jose […]

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Annex renovation project complete

SAN JOSE — The renovations to the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin’s Annex Building are complete, and the facility is ready for future generations to enjoy. The renovation began approximately a year ago as part of a two-phase capital project titled “Generations.” The first phase of the project involved seismic and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility […]

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, […]

Ethnic enclave readying for new developments

SAN JOSE — San Jose’s Japantown, a mix of retail, residential and light industrial development still has opportunity for growth and developers are taking advantage of the available space to build new retail and housing in the ethnic enclave. At the center of potential new developments is the Japantown Corporation Yard, bordered by Sixth, Seventh, […]

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