One injured in senior complex fire: Cause under investigation

One person was injured the evening of June 13 in a fire that was contained to the sixth floor of a senior housing complex at 1880 Pine St. near Japantown, a fire department spokesperson said. All floors of the center were evacuated after the fire was reported at 8:07 p.m. June 13. The one person […]

Efforts to support S.F.’s Japantown underway

San Francisco Japantown community leaders gathered May 27 for an online town hall meeting via the Zoom video chat application. Several organizations outlined their efforts to help Japantown through grants and programs designed to either aid small businesses and nonprofits, or attract customers to the ethnic enclave once shelter-in-place restrictions are relaxed. “A lot of […]

Japantown’s Peace Plaza — A chance to heal

Shattered tiles, forced removal and broken promises. To those unfamiliar with San Francisco Japantown, some might think that the Peace Plaza is just another open space in the city. But the cold, hardscape of the current design, is an unremarkable feature of a neighborhood that has never truly healed from the tragic history surrounding the […]

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 […]

FOR THE COMMUNITY: Melody Takata’s three decades of teaching Japanese arts

Melody Takata has been drumming taiko for around four decades, starting in Los Angeles as a high school student with L.A. Matsuri Taiko before moving to Tokyo for a year during college to study with Oedo Sukeroku Taiko. After finishing her studies, she moved to San Francisco to work with artists in Northern California. She […]

Four S.F. J-Town establishments approved for Legacy Business Registry

Four San Francisco Japantown establishments — Kinmon Gakuen, Nichi Bei Foundation, National Japanese American Historical Society and Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop — were among eight businesses and nonprofit organizations unanimously approved by the San Francisco Small Business Commission for the city’s Legacy Business Registry at the Commission’s meeting Aug. 12. The Registry recognizes longstanding, community-serving businesses […]

SF: Police car hits on-foot officer, suspect, injuring both

An unmarked San Francisco Police Department car struck and injured two people, a police officer and a suspect being pursued, the evening of Aug. 24 near a major Japantown intersection, police said. At about 5:20 p.m. Aug. 24, plain-clothes police officers were chasing two car burglary suspects on foot near Geary Boulevard and Webster Street. […]

My homeless friend

The first few times I passed her she seemed to have gathered the quiet around her. I walked past her, noticing that her eyes were closed in contemplation. She was always neat and might’ve been waiting for the bus, but for her neatly packed little cart and the half drunk quart of beer on the […]

S.F. Japantown security cameras praised by most

Community members have largely applauded the installation of a network of security cameras in San Francisco’s Japantown, in part for its ability to track individuals in the public spaces of the ethnic enclave. The Japantown SafeCity Program, administered by the Japantown Community Benefit District through an anonymous $750,000 grant, was one of the most anticipated […]

Police arrest man suspected in theft of golden retriever from S.F. J-Town

Officers have arrested a man accused of stealing a Golden Retriever last month from outside a storefront in San Francisco’s Japantown, police said July 25. Police have identified the man as 53-year-old Le Van Loc of San Francisco. Loc is suspected of stealing the dog, Lily, from the 1700 block of Post Street on July […]

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