Explore all of the upcoming programs and events at the Center.

Japantown History Series with Dr. Meredith Oda: Japan and San Francisco During the Early Cold War
Apr 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Japantown History Series with Dr. Meredith Oda: Japan and San Francisco During the Early Cold War

Co-Sponsored by the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS)

Thursday, April 22, 2021
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Free Admission, Advance Registration Required
Register online:
Order Books Online ($35 + S&H, use promo code GATEWAY for 25% off paperback edition!):

The Center and the National Japanese American Historical Society are pleased to present a two-part lecture series on the history of San Francisco Japantown with historian Dr. Meredith Oda. These lectures will be based on Dr. Oda’s research and writings in her book, The Gateway to the Pacific: Japanese Americans and the Remaking of San Francisco. Join us for an enlightening lecture and audience Q&A, and uncover insights to our community’s post-WWII past.

SPECIAL OFFER: Get 25% off of the paperback edition when you order your own copy of Dr. Oda’s book from the University of Chicago Press (regular price $35.00, plus shipping and handling). Use promo code GATEWAY when checking out for the discount, at:

Japantown History Series – Lecture No. 1: Japan and San Francisco During the Early Cold War

Civic leaders and ordinary people from all walks of life in San Francisco cultivated and celebrated their city’s ties with Japan almost immediately after the Pacific War ended, most notably with the construction of the Japanese Cultural and Trade Center in the Japantown neighborhood. This talk will explore the city’s many economic, civic, and cultural relations with Japan, and the ways that the recent enemy became central to postwar San Francisco’s civic identity. We’ll look at examples such as the now-defunct sister-city relationship, the precursor to the Asian Art Museum, Japanese restaurants, Japanese food imports, and the role of Japanese Americans in these transpacific relations. 


Praise for The Gateway to the Pacific: Japanese Americans and the Remaking of San Francisco


The American Historical Review:
The Gateway to the Pacific is a superb work of urban, social, Japanese American, and transpacific history. . . . It is an excellent example of how a local history serves as a window into national and global dynamics.”

California History:
“The value of this work is greatly enhanced by the author’s voluminous original research in conducting her study, including letters, newspaper and magazine articles, archival municipal evidence, records of interviews by and about major figures, and records of city missions toJapan. The vast quantity of pertinent primary materials uncovered permits the author to demonstrate the step-by-step evolution of the relationship between San Francisco and Japan and the critical role that Japanese Americans played in this process.”

About Dr. Meredith Oda:

Meredith Oda is Associate Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. Originally from Philadelphia, she lived in the Bay Area for ten years, attending UC Berkeley for her undergraduate degree and working at the National Japanese American Historical Society in Japantown after college. She then received her doctorate from the University of Chicago and has had fellowships and grants from the Huntington Library, the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, and the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research and teaching focus on Asian American history, urban history, US-East Asian relations, and the U.S. in the world. Her first book, The Gateway to the Pacific: Japanese Americans and the Remaking of San Francisco (Chicago, 2018), is a transpacific urban history of San Francisco. Her current book project looks at alienage, mobility, and Japanese American resettlement from the WWII incarceration camps until the 1952 Walter-McCarran Immigration and Nationality Act.

Ukulele 101 Online Workshops – April 2021
Apr 24 @ 2:00 pm – May 15 @ 3:30 pm

Ukulele 101 Online Workshops for the True Beginner

April 2021
Saturdays, April 24 – May 15, 2021
Instructor: Don Sadler
$90 Center Members, $110 General Public

This four-week course via Zoom will cover basic skills starting with how to tune, hold, and strum your ukulele.  Learn chords and techniques that will have you playing and singing in no time!  The class is open to adults, and will prepare budding ukulele players for the Center’s ongoing Intermediate Ukulele class.  All you need is a ukulele!

Zoom meeting login information to be provided upon registering online.

  sign up today

About Don Sadler

My interest in ʻukulele, Hawaiian music and culture began in the 90ʻs with visits to the islands. I began playing ʻukulele in 2002 and later discovered the ʻukulele classes at JCCCNC where I studied ʻukulele and Hawaiian music for over ten years. During that time I performed with the class at community events and festivals in the Bay Area and Hawaii and filled in as a substitute teacher when needed.

In January of 2013, I accepted the position of instructor for the ʻukulele program. Since then I have enjoyed teaching beginning and advanced ʻukulele classes at the Center and leading the class in performances throughout the Bay Area. I also enjoy teaching my “Ukulele 101” workshops for students just beginning their ʻukulele experience.

While Hawaiian music has remained my passion, I enjoy exploring other styles of music with the ʻukulele, sharing what I have learned with others, and continuing to learn and grow as a musician myself. These are the things that keep me energized and committed to teaching ʻukulele at JCCCNC.

  sign up today
JA Talks: Meet Professional 3×3 Basketball Player Ryan Tana
Apr 24 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

JA Talks: Meet Professional 3×3 Basketball Player Ryan Tana

Saturday, April 24, 2021
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Free Admission, Advance Registration Required
Connect via Zoom; meeting ID and password provided upon registration
Register online:
  Sign Up

Introducing JA Talks, the Center’s new ongoing series of talks featuring members of the Japanese American community sharing their insights and experiences across a variety of industries and disciplines. Join us as we get to know our friends and colleagues doing interesting things, not just here in Japantown, but around the world!

Join us for our inaugural JA Talk! We are excited to sit down and chat with Ryan Tana, team co-owner and professional basketball player of Tokyo Crayon 3×3 in Japan! For any of you who have hoop dreams, played in Japanese American and Asian basketball leagues and tournaments, or are interested in starting a life or career overseas in Japan, Ryan will share with us his journey from growing up yonsei in the Bay Area, to going pro and serving as an ambassador of sport and as a cultural bridge between Japan and the Japan American community in the motherland! Ryan’s talk will be followed by an audience Q&A session, so don’t miss your chance to hear directly from Ryan about his experiences in professional sports in Japan.

Invite any of your friends or family members who love basketball for this unique opportunity to meet a pro JA baller!

  Sign Up

About Ryan Tana

Ryan is a yonsei Japanese American currently living in Tokyo, Japan. He was born in New York City, but grew up in Belmont, CA since age 6. He played basketball for JYO and San Jose Ninjas growing up. He attended Junipero Serra High School and played basketball for New York University from 2010-2014. He’s been playing professional 3×3 basketball in Japan since 2017, and most recently co-owning the 3×3 team he plays for, Tokyo Crayon 3×3. One of his goals is to reconnect with his JA community in the States, and provide international perspective to Japan that he didn’t have growing up.

Kenji’s Kitchen – Chicken Karaage Online Cooking Class
Apr 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Sign up for our online cooking webinar with chef Kenji Yokoo and learn how to make delicious, crispy fried chicken karaage!
Sunday, April 25, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
$7 Center Members / $10 General Public
Connect via Zoom; Meeting ID and password to be issued upon registration


Chef Kenji Yokoo will be teaching how to make crispy fried chicken karaage and cabbage salad in this month’s online cooking class. “Chicken karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) is one of the most popular home cooked dishes in Japan and was one of my favorites when I was growing up. My grandmother would often make karaage for my bento box to eat at school and we would bring karaage on picnics (including hanami). We also often enjoyed karaage at home. Most home cooks in Japan use a deep fryer to make karaage, but I will show you how to make the crispiest, juiciest and most flavorful karaage with simple pan frying. In this class, I will also teach you how to make a cabbage salad with a creamy miso dressing which is the perfect side dish to karaage,” says Kenji.

In our cooking class, you’ll be joining Kenji over Zoom, and you can either watch and enjoy, or follow along in your own kitchen with Kenji’s instructions and make your own chicken karaage and cabbage salad during the webinar!

For those of you who wish to cook along with Kenji, please gather or prepare the following ingredients and supplies in advance:


Karaage Ingredients:
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs (can use chicken breast but chicken thighs are much more flavorful)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic (grated)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp potato starch
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • lemon (optional)
Cabbage Salad with Miso Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 of a cabbage
  • 2 tbsp white miso (Learn all about miso at my YouTube video here)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • knife (for cutting chicken)
  • cutting board
  • large plastic zip-lock bag
  • grater
  • frying pan (10-12 inch)
  • cooking chopsticks
  • tray for potato starch
  • cooling rack
  • mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • salad bowl
  • 2 spoons for tossing salad

About Kenji Yokoo

Kenji Yokoo, founder of the Bay Area based “Kenji’s Kitchen,” was born and raised in southern rural Japan and has been passionate about cooking from a very young age. As is common in Japan, he grew up in a home with three generations and spent all his time with his grandmother in the kitchen. She taught him everything he knows about cooking. Kenji learned from his grandmother not just traditional Japanese cooking techniques, but that the purpose of cooking is to bring joy to the people that you are cooking for. Kenji was given the Bay Area “Quality Champion” award by Airbnb for receiving the highest quality scores on his cooking classes. Kenji has also taught team building events with Japanese cooking for many Bay Area companies including Google, Adobe, Airbnb and Facebook. Kenji is also a cooking instructor at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California where he runs online webinars on traditional Japanese dishes. Click here to view Kenji’s Kitchen YouTube Channel

Spring 2021 Kaiseki Cooking Workshop
May 1 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Spring Kaiseki Workshop

Saturday, May 1, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Instructor: Larry Sokyo Tiscornia and Kimika Soko Takechi
$7 Center Members, $10 General Public
Connect via Zoom; Meeting ID and password to be issued upon registration

Our popular seasonal Kaiseki cooking workshops are back, in virtual format! These cooking workshop menus consist of an elegant multi-course meal in the Kaiseki tradition using a menu of fresh ingredients to reflect the flavors and colors of each season. Our Spring Kaiseki Workshop will feature chirashi sushi (scattered ingredient sushi) and kuzutataki soup (kudzu coated poached white fish). Chakin sushi (chirashi sushi  wrapped in a thin egg wrapper) will also be made. The preparation of ichiban dashi soup stock will be demonstrated. Easy to follow recipes will be provided.

Spring Tasting Menu:

  • Chirashi Sushi (scattered ingredient sushi)
  • Kuzutataki Soup (kudzu coated poached white fish)
  • Chakin Sushi (chirashi sushi  wrapped in thin egg wrapper).
  • Ichiban dashi (soup stock made with konbu kelp and katsuobushi shaved dried bonito fish)

Note – This workshop will be virtual and may be a little more challenging to follow along compared to our in-person kaiseki cooking workshops. For those that want to try cooking along at home, you are advised to have the sushi ingredients cooked and cut before the start of the workshop. The rice should be ready by 2:30pm as well as the sushi vinegar.



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The JCCCNC a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the State of California

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