Kinmon Gakuen celebrates 100 years of Japanese language instruction

Kinmon Gakuen, also known as the Golden Gate Institute, celebrated 100 years of Japanese language and culture education recently in San Francisco’s Japantown. In a gathering of former students, teachers and administrators on Oct. 29, community members also helped to celebrate the historic milestone at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. “We are dedicated […]

Filmmaker launches campaign for ‘Infinity and Chashu Ramen’

Kerwin Berk, director of “The Virtues of Corned Beef Hash,” is working on his most recent film, “Infinity and Chashu Ramen.” The film, set in San Francisco’s modern day Japantown, follows Tenshi (Hiroshi Kashiwagi), an obnoxious 400-year-old spirit with a foul mouth and propensity for petty theft, and Lucy Yamaguchi (Wendy Hyunh), a sweet but […]

Punk glam rock fashion with all the thrills

Following a successful prelude of fashion shows and a temporary pop-up store during the J-Pop Summit Festival 2011, which was held in August, the h.Naoto store opened at the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown on Oct. 7. Naoto Hirooka, better known as h.Naoto, attended the grand opening of his boutique, his first store […]

San Francisco’s Japantown scores ‘Japanese soul food’

New People’s Cinema Café recently added “Japanese soul food” to its menu. Onigilly, a food cart that sells onigiri (Japanese rice balls), opened its franchise at the cafe on Oct. 7, following its success at previous events in San Francisco’s Japantown. Two years ago Koji Kanematsu decided to fill a niche market for onigiri. “It […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: The dilemma of defining and preserving a fragmented community

I took some time off to recharge my batteries, to use an old cliché, and now I’m back. In that interval, our nation has gone through such turbulence it is hard to think clearly about the state of politics, the economy, and the future. Well, daily life goes on and we all have to try […]

SOU SOU: Turning traditional kimono into cool contemporary clothing

Kyoto is often known for its high-end traditional arts and culture, and as a city, is proud of its heritage as Japan’s ancient capital. Normally, the products from Kyoto are high quality and ornate — kimono that sell for thousands of dollars and austere traditional tea ceremonies that remain preserved from hundreds of years ago. […]

J-Pop a draw for crowds

Two years after the opening of the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown, the third annual J-Pop Summit Festival took place over the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28. The festival expanded to two days for the first time, thanks to fans who raised money through Kickstarter, a platform that funds creative projects. The […]

Concerns over BNP density

As the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan (BNP) Organizing Committee finalizes the draft of the BNP for the final public hearing, a new recommendation has raised some concerns among committee members. Revisions to the draft will be presented to the community on Saturday, Sept. 10. Paul Wermer, a Pacific Heights resident in San Francisco who works […]

Nikkei Community Internship program celebrates 10 years, current class

When surveying community programs a decade ago, Japanese American leaders found a lack of meaningful activities for young people. “There had been a vacuum for a long time of new programs (for young people),” said Jon Osaki, the executive director of Japanese Community Youth Council. In an effort to engage Japanese American young people, the […]

Better Neighborhood Plan fields community input before revision draft

San Francisco Japantown community members attended a meeting held at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) on July 31 to discuss potential changes to the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan (BNP). About 50 people — including project members, city employees and even District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi — attended the event. The […]