For the past 25 years, the Center has proudly served on a number of projects that share and preserve the Japanese American experience and cultural heritage.

These projects include national and statewide community preservation conferences; permanent historical markers, such as the Japantown History Walk, Japantown Landmark and Preserve America designation of Japantown; documenting various stories and the experiences of our community; coordinating both the California Nisei High School and College Diploma Projects; leading community protests to save community institutions; and conducting studies that address the changing needs of our community.


Preserving San Francisco's Japantown

Preserving San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose Japantown

Over the past 100 years, the San Francisco Japantown community has been forced to relocate from its physical location twice; once by the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans into detention centers and concentration camps during World War II, and second, during the era of “Redevelopment” in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Both events left a profound mark on the physical geographic location as well as the emotional being of its residents causing the community to shrink in size and creating a sense of urgency to preserve and sustain what remains.

In 2001, the California State Legislature passed SB307 into law which formally recognized the three remaining Japantowns in the State of California; the other two are Los Angeles and San Jose. Since that time, a number of different tangible as well as programmatic events were created to recognize and acknowledge the importance of the Japanese American community within the larger city community and to create historic markers and interpretive signage on specific historic structures in San Francisco Japantown to identify its historic and current importance and relevance to the community.

Center Preservation Projects:  

California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP) Conference (2005)
California Japantown Landmarks (2005)
SB 307 - State Legislation to Preserve Three Remaining Japantowns
CA Nisei High School Diploma Project (2004-05)
CA Nisei College Diploma Project (2009)
Dreams Finally Realized - Video Interviews for CA Nisei College Diploma Project (2010)
Colma Japanese Cemetery Clean-up (2011-present)
Diamonds in the Rough: Legends of Nisei Baseball (1998)
Farewell to Manzanaar - 25th Anniversary
Generations: A Japanese American Community Potrait
Japanese American Hall Sports of Fame (2002)
Japantown History Walk (2008)
Journey to Tanforan (2007)
Nikkei Family Legacy Project: Reel Nikkei Stories (2008-09)
Nikkei Family Legacy Project: The Legacy Continues (Family History Book Project) (2011-12)
Preserve America Designation for Japantown (2008)
Preserving California Japantowns Symposium
Save Japantown Bowl
Save Japanese YWCA (1996-2002)

Book Projects

   My Dog Teny
   From Our Side of the Fence
   Making Home From War

U.S.-Japan Programs

   Cultural Tours (annual)
   Nikkei Youth Cultural Heritage Program
   San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Programs/Goodwill Tours/Exchanges
   Shinzen Nikkei Youth Goodwill Program