Japantown Peace Plaza Vision Plan – Community Meeting #2

October 11th, 2018

United for Compassion 2 – Thursday, August 9 at 7pm, Japantown Peace Plaza

August 8th, 2018

WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Japantown Peace Plaza, Post at Buchanan streets
“United For Compassion 2” is a Japantown community gathering to address family separations at the border and the Muslim ban, racial / religious scapegoating, among other issues.
Featuring: Multicultural & youth speakers / performances, a Wall of Compassion, Resources
Partial list of speakers include:
– California state Assemblymember Phil Ting
– Donald K. Tamaki, Korematsu coram nobis attorney / StopRepeatingHistory.org campaign
– Karen Korematsu
– Zahra Billoo, executive director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
– Hiroshi Kashiwagi, former Tule Lake Segregation Center incarceree
– Satsuki Ina, former Tule Lake Segregation Center incarceree
– Amy Sueyoshi, San Francisco State University interim dean of Ethnic Studies and past Pride Parade Grand Marshal
– Rev. Jeanelle Ablola, Japanese American Religious Federation / Pine United Methodist Church

Performance by the Buffet Crew — Francis Wong (saxophone) and Yukiya Jerry Waki (spoken word)


• Japanese American Religious Federation • Japanese Community Youth Council • San Francisco JACL • Nichi Bei Foundation • Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California • National Japanese American Historical Society • API Legal Outreach • Tule Lake Committee • Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project • Campaign For Justice: Redress Now For Japanese Latin Americans! • Nakayoshi Young Professionals • Asian Improv aRts • Nikkei Resisters • Japantown Task Force, Inc. • Coram Nobis Legal Teams • StopRepeatingHistory.org campaign • Minami Tamaki LLP • Nihonmachi Street Fair • J-Sei • Sansei Legacy Project • Kimochi, Inc. (partial list)

Sponsored by:

• Japanese Community Youth Council • San Francisco chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League • Nichi Bei Foundation • Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California • Tule Lake Committee • Japantown Task Force, Inc. • Sansei Legacy Project


United For Compassion Consortium Statement

The United For Compassion Consortium and the San Francisco Japantown community stands in solidarity with those now being targeted nationwide by the rhetoric of hatred and racial and religious scapegoating.
Since before the 2016 elections, there had been a rise in incidences of hate throughout the country, which appear to be emboldened by the misogynistic, xenophobic and racist rhetoric of the Trump campaign. By the time the Japantown community held the first United For Compassion vigil against post-election hate two weeks after the elections on Nov. 22, 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center had documented more than 700 incidents since the elections alone, including physical assaults and racist vandalism.
Since that time, an anti-Muslim travel ban has been upheld by the Supreme Court using the same flawed logic which legalized the incarceration of Japanese Americans in 1944. Our worst fears have also been realized with the recent Executive Order which authorized the indefinite imprisonment of migrant families in detention centers across the country.
One site being considered as a potential detention facility for unaccompanied minors is adjacent to the former Rohwer concentration camp in southeast Arkansas, where the United States government incarcerated 8,000 Japanese Americans between 1942 and 1945.
According to a CNN report, some 430 parents from separated families were likely deported without their kids. Once they are located, the logistics of coordinating reunions could take months. There are currently 711 immigrant children from separated families who remain in custody.
As a community that knows all too well the effects of wartime hysteria, racial prejudice and the failure of political leadership, the Japanese American community responds, using our own experience as a stark reminder of the effects of the deprivation of civil liberties.
Seventy-seven years ago the FBI began arresting our Buddhist priests, Japanese Language School teachers and community leaders. Within two months the U.S. government began the mass incarceration of all Japanese Americans from the West Coast. This human tragedy and violation of constitutional rights is not what a Trump advisor stated as a “precedent” for a present-day “Muslim registry.” It was a grave injustice and grave mistake, for which the nation apologized.
As a community, Japanese Americans cannot be silent while groups are targeted and demonized in the same way that we once were. Now more than ever, our community must speak out for targeted communities.
In a show of unity, the Japanese American and Japantown community is taking a clear and unequivocal stand against hate, while addressing the fear that has shrouded our communities. We stand in solidarity for equality, equity, and freedom. We stand for the human spirit. We stand here United for Compassion.

CAAMFest 2018

May 3rd, 2018

The Center Co-Presents:

An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy

Dianne Fukami, USA, 2018, 60 mins

Join us for the World Premiere of Dianne Fukami’s newest documentary, which celebrates the rich life and career of Norman Y. Mineta, one of the most well-respected and influential Japanese American community leaders of our times. This powerful and inspirational portrait explores Mineta — from Japanese American incarceration as a child during World War II to being mayor of San Jose and serving as cabinet secretary under two presidents.


The Registry
SUN MAY 13 | AMC KABUKI 8 | 2:40 PM

Bill Kubota and Steve Ozone, USA, 2018, 57 mins

For the Japanese Americans who served in World War II, public acknowledgment of the vital roles they played has been long delayed. THE REGISTRY, a CAAM-funded film, chronicles the efforts of aging veterans to document the crucial work they performed as translators in the Pacific theater and the focal point that military service played in their identities. THE REGISTRY will be one of the last times that those who served in WWII will be able to connect with each other, as well as one of the last times we will directly hear the voices of those who served.

Closing Night Performance: Aunt Lily’s Flower Book by Brenda Wong Aoki

Acclaimed storyteller and Bay Area activist Brenda Wong Aoki presents AUNT LILY’S FLOWER BOOK: ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LEGALIZED RACISM. A live performance set to music by Emmy Award-winning composer Mark Izu and koto master Shoko Hikage, Wong Aoki embodies multiple characters to take the audience through a tale of family secrets and resilience from the perspective of Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans. Combining both sides of the Wong Aoki and Izu family histories — from a grandfather who built the railroad to a father who served in and survived the 442nd during World War II — AUNT LILY’S FLOWER BOOK highlights the impact of residual trauma and the role that the arts play in healing.

JAL Foundation – The 15th World Children’s Haiku Contest

October 27th, 2017

Originating from Japan, Haiku is the shortest form of poetry in the world. In a short descriptive verse, it captures a moment in the poet’s life, or simply expresses the beauty of nature. Haiku is now enjoyed in many countries around the world.

JAL FOUNDATION biennially organize ‘World Children’s Haiku Contest’, and we are happy to announce that the 15th contest is to be held this year.

The theme of the 15th contest is ‘ Living Things.’  

Through the contest, children are given the opportunity to compose haiku that will encompass their memories. The experience of composing haiku will also become a part of their pleasant memories of their childhood.

All Grand-prize haiku will be collected and published next year as an anthology titled ‘Haiku By World Children.’

Haiku Contest Rules – see application and poster for details.   Click HERE for Poster and Application form

Entry fee:  FREE

Submission’s Period: From  1st October 2017 to 15th January 2018
Please attach this application form* to the back of submitted work with glue.  (*this link will take you to the JAL Foundation contest page)

Insights to the Fred Korematsu Case with Dale Minami

August 18th, 2017
Hosted by the Japan Society of Northern California
Thursday, August 24, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
@ The Denton Law Offices, One Market Street
$5-25 advance tickets, $30 at the door;

Image courtesy of Chris Huie

Highly-respected San Francisco lawyer Dale Minami from Minami Tamaki LLP will talk about his team’s successful effort in 1983 to overturn the conviction of Fred Korematsu, whose defiance of the World War II Japanese American exclusion order led to Korematsu v. United States, one of the most controversial United States Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century.

This is an opportunity to refresh our memories about the incarceration on the 75th anniversary of the Executive Order that sent 120,000 US residents of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were citizens, into prisons and learn about the story of one man’s decades-long fight against that injustice. The Korematsu cases remain highly relevant today as our nation wrestles with issues of race, ethnicity and immigration – indeed, earlier this year a Ninth Circuit Federal judge referred to the Korematsu case to raise questions about President Trump’s proposed ban on visitors from Muslim-majority countries. Mr. Minami, who was the lead lawyer in the suit to void the conviction affirmed by the 1944 Supreme Court decision, will give us a behind-the-scenes description of this significant case and the man behind it.

Speaker: Dale Minami 

Photo by Paul Sakuma Photography

Dale Minami is a partner with Minami and Tamaki in San Francisco. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from USC in 1968 and received his J.D. in 1971 from the UC Berkeley. He is recognized as one of the top lawyers in Northern California as selected by Law & Politics Magazine and has been named a Super Lawyer each year (14 years), Top 100 Super Lawyers (11 years) in the Personal Injury Category and one of the Top Ten Super Lawyers (5 years) for Northern California.

Minami has also been involved in litigation involving the civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans, including Korematsu v. United States, United Pilipinos for Affirmative Action v. California Blue Shield (class action employment discrimination lawsuit), Spokane JACL v. Washington State University, (class action to establish an Asian American Studies program) and Nakanishi v. UCLA (challenge to unfair tenure denial). He also co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Bar Association and the Minami, Tamaki, Yamauchi Kwok and Lee Foundation. Minami is the recipient of the ABA’s Thurgood Marshall and Spirit of Excellence Awards, among other awards.

“Yonsei Eyes” and “My Dog Teny” Special Film Screening

July 1st, 2017

“Yonsei Eyes” and “My Dog Teny” Film Screening
and Q&A with Director Jon Osaki and Narrators Mika and Lee Osaki
Sunday, August 13th, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
FREE Admission

Join us for a FREE screening of the new documentary, “Yonsei Eyes” and a film adaptation of the book “My Dog Teny.”  A special Q&A session and sneak peek preview trailer for a new film by the director will follow the screening.

Yonsei Eyes is the story of two fourth generation Japanese Americans who embark on a pilgrimage to the place where their grandparents were once imprisoned during World War II. Their journey takes them to the desolate site of the Tule Lake Segregation Center where they begin to understand the profound hardships and indignities their grandfathers, Tsukasa Matsueda and Wayne Osaki, once had to endure. Their poignant and reflective exploration into the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans provides a unique perspective from the eyes of youth who will one day have the responsibility of passing on the story of the Japanese American incarceration to future generations.  Yonsei Eyes trailer from Jon Osaki on Vimeo.

Originally a heartwarming essay by Wayne Osaki turned into a children’s book illustrated by Felicia Hoshino, “My Dog Teny” is the true story about a boy and his dog and the friendship they shared during the Japanese American community’s forced evacuation during WWII. We will be screening a film adaptation of the book following the screening of Yonsei Eyes.

Nikkei Photo Contest 2017

June 23rd, 2017

Who Won The Grand Prize?

See all the entries by clicking on the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jcccnc/albums/72157687335309806/with/36317009392/

Opening exhibit featuring photos from the Nikkei Photo Contest 2017

The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) will be hosting a Nikkei Photo Contest Exhibit.  The exhibit will display photo submissions from the Nikkei Photo Contest 2017 with the theme of Japanese American cultural heritage.  The exhibit will feature all submissions, as well as the seven winners. The seven winners are listed below:

Grand Prize:  Miles Y., Executive Order 9066”
 Finalists:  Mark K., “Pride” /  Elijah A., “The Girl from Tancha” / Erik N., “The Meaning of Obon”
Honorable Mentions:  Stephen S., “Sunrise, I Rei To (Soul Consoling Tower), Cemetery, Manzanar, California. 6:17 a.m., 1 April, 2014”  /  Grant E., “Sunset Festival Dancing”  /  Brian K., “心から– From the Heart”

The exhibit will be held at the JCCCNC on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 3 P.M. to 6 P.M.  The exhibit is an open galleria, and we welcome anyone to join us in celebrating the submissions. At 4:00 P.M., the winners will be formally announced and presented with awards.  Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The photos will be displayed for a month after the opening exhibit.

The judging process considered the quality of the photo and written caption, the content of the photo and written caption, and the unity between the photo and written caption. The judges came from diverse backgrounds and professions to ensure different angles when choosing the awards. Judges were also blind to the contestant names.

Edited (08/08/17)


Theme: What does Japanese American cultural heritage mean to you?

How to enter:

  1. Capture a photo
  2. Write a short, meaningful paragraph on how the photo relates to Japanese American culture
  3. Email your photo to photocontest@jcccnc.org with your full name in the Subject line
  4. Complete the online entry form

Deadline: Saturday, July 22 at 8pm PST

  • You do not need to be a professional photographer!
  • Japanese ancestry is not required. It is open to all backgrounds with a connection to the Japanese American culture.
  • We encourage all ages and generations to apply.

The JCCCNC is sponsoring a photo contest with the prompt: “What does Japanese American cultural heritage mean to you?” The goal of the contest is to examine how the community defines and celebrates Japanese American “cultural heritage.”

TAKE A PHOTO, TELL ITS STORY TO WIN $500 – The grand prize winner will receive $500. Three Finalists will be awarded $250 each, and 3 Honorable Mentions will be awarded $100 each. Judges will consider the meaningfulness of the description, the content of the photo, the connection between the photo and the description, and image quality.

This contest is both an opportunity to celebrate and share culture with others, but it is also a thought exercise to encourage discussion and conversation surrounding cultural heritage. The theme is intentionally broad to encourage a wide variety of memories, stories, and creative angles. Everyone has their own unique story, now is your chance to tell it!

“Redefining Japaneseness” Special Guest Lecture with Dr. Jane Yamashiro

June 13th, 2017

Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland

Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Admission: Free and Open to the Public

Growing up in the U.S., Japanese Americans learn to understand their Japanese heritage within U.S.-based narratives of racism, cultural exclusion, and multiculturalism. What happens when they move to Japan, where different discourses and assumptions shape what it means to be “Japanese”? What difficulties do Japanese American migrants encounter in their daily interactions as they attempt to make themselves understandable in Japan?

“Redefining Japaneseness” chronicles how Japanese Americans’ understandings of Japaneseness — including their own — transform while living in their ancestral homeland. Drawing from extensive fieldwork and interviews, Dr. Yamashiro reveals the diverse processes and shifting strategies that Japanese American migrants in the Tokyo area utilize as they negotiate and challenge conventional social boundaries and meanings related to race, ethnicity, culture, and nationality.

“Not only does Yamashiro give us engaging portraits of how Japanese Americans navigate the social and cultural terrain of contemporary Japan, but she also provides a fundamental rethinking of the analytic frameworks by which migrant identities have been contextualized and understood,” said Michael Omi, Associate Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies of UC Berkeley.

Dr. Yamashiro was born and raised in Berkeley, where she is currently based as an independent scholar. She obtained a BA in sociology and Japanese studies from UC San Diego and an MA and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. For more than a decade, she has been conducting research on Japanese American experiences living in Japan, and she herself has lived in Japan off and on for about nine years. Her comparative and transnational sociological work on race and ethnicity, culture, globalization, migration, diaspora, and identity sits at the intersection of Asian American and Asian Studies.

Admission to the lecture is free and open to the public. To RSVP for this event, call the JCCCNC at (415) 567-5505 or e-mail programsevents@jcccnc.org

“A Bitter Legacy” Documentary Film Screening and Q&A With Director Claudia Katayanagi

May 10th, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017 – 1:00 p.m.
FREE Admission

Join us for a FREE screening of the new documentary, “A Bitter Legacy” directed by Claudia Katayanagi. A special Q&A session with the director will follow the screening.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese American internment camps. While the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is now widely known, little has been exposed about the Citizen Isolation Centers – secret prisons for “troublemakers” who resisted and questioned authority. A Bitter Legacy examines those prisons – now considered to be precursors to Guantanamo Bay – and parallels to issues of racism and immigration restriction today.

Watch the trailer below!

Japanese Yatate: A Visual Journey

March 14th, 2017
FREE Special Cultural Education Program –
Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Join us for a  special cultural presentation and take a step back into pre-modern Japan as we explore the Japanese yatate, presented by enthusiast and collector Mr. Robert DeMaria.

The yatate is the uniquely Japanese pre-modern portable writing instrument in wide use in Japan from about the late 13th to early the 20th century, preceding the next revolutionary writing event in Japan that occurred with the introduction of the fountain pen. Used by those needing to write on the go: pilgrims, merchants, scribes, poets and anyone finding it necessary to write on the road, the yatate, over the centuries, became an integral, everyday part of Japanese cultural, social, commercial, and business life.

Yatate belong to a group of objects called sagemono or things that hang from the obi. More widely known sagemono are inrō, netsuke and kiseru. Mr. DeMaria’s presentation will also feature pieces from his personal collection of yatate. Admission to the presentation is free to the general public, but please RSVP if possible.

About Robert DeMaria: Robert first discovered yatate while living in Tokyo at the Heiwajima Antiques Fair. His first purchase of a yatate started him on a twenty-year journey of collecting, discovering, studying and enjoying the craftsmanship and beauty of that little known segment of Japanese culture–the yatate.