Friday, May 29, 2009

Nakayoshi Monthly Planning Meeting - this Sunday!

It's that time of the month again! Nakayoshi is having their general monthly meeting this coming Sunday @ the SF JACL Headquarter building.

If you haven't attended a meeting yet, now is the time! More importantly, if you're curious about the Japantown Issue and vast changes that the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan will be doing to our beloved nihonmachi, come and put your two cents in. Nakayoshi is being asked to react and our community is in need of major education on this issue. Help us out if you can, come to our meeting and find out how!

General meetings are used to plan and brainstorm upcoming events, socials and volunteer activities. For the next few months, Nakayoshi has a few projects up their sleeve, so come out and give us your input and be part of our planning process.

If you have any questions or want to RSVP for the meeting, please feel free to contact us at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The SF planning commission will hear the japantown better neighborhood plan this thursday at City Hall room 400 at 2:30pm, and YOU should be there to speak out against it. some of the reasons the current better neighborhood plan is no good:
  • buildings will rise and jtown will be overshadowed
  • rent will increase by over 100% and drive out the small businesses that make jtown unique
  • japan center and garage will be closed for at least 2 years and there will be nothing to draw people to jtown
  • plan has not been thoroughly discussed in our community (there have been a number of meetings but not enough community representation! this is our bad- and it's time to take action!)
read the full plan:

we are simply calling for more time to create a plan that will ensure the preservation of our cultural and historical buildings/businesses and the future of our japantown!

The planning commission hearing is:
Thursday, May 28
CITY HALL room 400
We are 2nd on the agenda

If you can not attend the hearing, please contact the planning commission and ask them to not endorse the plan as is.
Ron Miguel, Commission President
(415) 601-0708

For more information email

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spotlight #9 - Jess Kawamura

Name: Jessica Miyeko Kawamura
Profession: Former grad student, future policy analyst
Age: 23
Favorite Restaurant: Thai Noodle in Berkeley

During the last six months, I have enjoyed being part of Nakayoshi. It’s a great way to connect with other people who are equally committed to being part of the JA community and enjoying the Bay Area. I am excited to see where the future takes us!
About me: I am a proud East Bay native. I am yonsei, a fourth-generation Japanese American. As a kid, I spent many afternoons and summer days with my grandparents in West Berkeley. I have fond memories of making narazuke and eating Campbell’s soup with rice and takuan. On Sundays, my family attended JA Christian church and on Saturday nights, my brother and I played basketball for the local Buddhist temple. During the summers, I went to Daruma-no-Gakko, where I first fell in love with Japanese American history. I feel lucky to have grown up in the ethnic community.

As a student at Brown University, I pursued my interest in Asian American history. I double majored in Ethnic Studies and Public Policy and served as the chair of the Asian American Students Association. I spent a summer interning in San Francisco Japantown with the Nikkei Community Internship program. I also studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo. I wrote my honors thesis about Asian American women’s activism in San Francisco during the late 1960s and early 1970s. I came back to Berkeley to complete my education at the Goldman School of Public Policy at Cal (Go Bears!). A newly minted graduate, I will soon pack my bags for a big move to Washington, DC. I will be pursuing a career in public service at the State Department's Office of Civil Rights.

Nakayoshi's 2nd Annual BBQ - We're Turning One!

It's Nakayoshi's 2nd Annual BBQ and we're turning ONE! It's been exactly one year since we first launched Nakayoshi and boy have we grown!

Nakayoshi's 2nd Annual BBQ @ Golden Gate Park

Sunday, June 7th 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Lindley Meadow - Table 3 30th Avenue & John F. Kennedy Drive
Look for Blue & White Balloons
Since June 2008, we've held 11 successful volunteer events:

- Nihonmachi Street fair w/ JCYC
- SF JACL Chapter AIDS Memorial Grove Clean Up
- JCCCNC’s Annual Event – Salute to a Vision
- Kimochi’s Sansei Live Event
- Trick or Vote Event w/ Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ)
- SF JACL Chapter Spaghetti & Crab Feed Benefit Dinner
- API Legal Outreach’s Oshogatsu Festival with SF JACL Chapter & JCCCNC
- San Francisco 2009 Day Of Remembrance
- San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Volunteers
- Nichi Bei Tofu Dessert Competition & Festival
- West Valley JACL Chapter Booth @ San Jose Nikkei Matsuri Festival

and 12 successful social events:

- Meet & Greet Barbeque
- Goh Nakamura Album Release Party
- Karaoke Night
- North Beach Crawl
- Mission District Crawl
- Golden State Warriors API Heritage Night
- Nakayoshi’s 1st Annual Holiday Party
- Yerba Buena Ice Skating
- 1st Annual Ski Trip – Northstar Lake Tahoe
- San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival – Tokyo Sonata Showing
- Hiking @ Purisma Creek (Half Moon Bay)
- San Francisco Giant’s Japanese Heritage Night

and some local community festivals and fundraisers:

- 42nd Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival – Tabling
- Asian American Heritage Street Celebration – Tabling
- Nakayoshi’s Sushi Cooking Class

We have a lot more planned out for the rest of the year, so if you haven't come out to one of our Nakayoshi Volunteer or Social events yet, come out and see what Nakayoshi is all about at our Annual BBQ! We'd love to meet you and tell you what else we have in store for our 2nd year!

Plus it's FREE! So join us as we celebrate our 1 Year Anniversary in Golden Gate Park with delicious food (free food) and some amazing Nakayoshi members!

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park
Sunday, June 7th

Lindley Meadow - Table 3
30th Avenue & John F. Kennedy Drive
Look for Blue & White Balloons
12:00 - 4:00 pm

Bring running shoes, we may do another round of touch football!

Check out pictures from our first BBQ:
6/29/08 Nakayoshi Meet & Greet BBQ

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Are you 1/4 Asian, 3/4 Caucasian???

A family friend- Carole's son, and only child, is battling Leukemia. His only option for survival is a bone marrow transplant. I am sending this to everyone I know just in case, by some miracle, it reaches someone that might be able to help in some way. Please send this to everyone you know.

In Caroles own words.....

"My son, Nick Glasgow, needs a bone marrow transplant. Nick was a healthy 27 year old when he came down with what was at first believed to be strep throat about nine to ten weeks ago. Eight weeks ago, he was informed that he has Leukemia and was admitted to the hospital immediately for chemotherapy. Nick has endured two rounds of chemotherapy, and received blood, platelets, saline, and antibiotic infusions. These have all failed to put Nick into remission. Nick's white cell blood count is too low for another round of chemo, and was sent home as antibiotics had been stopped and his immune system is compromised. He is now back in emergency at the hospital due to a high fever.

What is needed to save Nick's life is a bone marrow donor who is a match. The doctors have advised that they think it is highly unlikely that they can find a match for Nick as a match would need to be 3/4 Caucasian and 1/4 Asian. The doctor indicated that there was probably a 0% chance of finding a donor from the donor list , although they are still currently looking for a match for Nick and this is due to the fact that there are not enough 3/4 Caucasian and 1/4 Asians registered to choose from. Time is of the essence in finding a donor for Nick. Right now his white blood cell count is up to 1,500 (3,500 is low normal) of which the cancerous portion is climbing and has doubled in just a few days. Nick needs a donor match NOW.

What I am asking of you is this, if you fit the criteria of ANY MIX of Caucasian and Asian, please go to and start the process of being tested to see if you are a match for Nick. Testing involves a simple swab to the inside of your cheek. If you know someone who fits the criteria, please urge them to be tested. Nick's life is dependant on finding a match today. Please, please, please take the short amount of time to see if you are the one who can be a miracle to our family. If you do fit the criteria and will be testing immediately, please let Jennifer Blackadder know at She is keeping a list in case it will be possible to have Stanford look at those potential people first.

I don't want to lose my only child. You may be the only one out there with that marrow match. Please help him if you can.

Thanks for anything you can do to help....we are so humbled at the kindness of all and grateful for all involved!


Nick's facebook group:
Examiner article:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monthly Update - May 2009

Hey Nakayoshi! Time for another monthly update on all the fun we have coming up in May!

April was a busy month for many of us with the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, Nakayoshi’s first hiking trip at Purisma Creek, and more volunteering at the San Jose Nikkei Matsuri, where we helped the West Valley JACL chapter raise over $1800 at their strawberry shortcake booth! We’re off to a strong start to the month of May already, as our first volunteer event was on May 2 at the Kristi Yamaguchi Children’s Day Festival at the JCCCNC in SF Japantown. Our awesome volunteers made and sold enough spam musubi’s to raise $300 for the JCCCNC’s childrens’ programs after splitting the profits. A huge thank you to all our volunteers who have come out and contributed their time and effort!

Even if you didn’t make it to everything last month, we still have a lot coming up during the rest of May! It’s not too late to get tickets to the SF Giants Japanese Heritage Night baseball game this Friday, and there’s another volunteering opportunity coming up at the SF Asian Heritage Street Celebration this Saturday in honor of API Heritage Month. We’re finishing out the month strong with another fun nighttime outing in SF’s Marina district. As always, let us know if you’re coming out by e-mailing us at or check the event listings at our Facebook group page!

In this update:
5/15/09 – JA Heritage Night w/the SF Giants
5/16/09 – 5th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration

5/29/09 - Nakayoshi Social Ev
ent: SF Marina District Crawl

Other Community Events in May:

5/17/09 – South San Francisco's Asian American Heritage Celebration
5/24/09 – Berkeley United Methodist Church 51st Annual Food Bazaar

Save These Dates – More information to come in Nakayoshi’s June Monthly Update!

6/7/09 – Nakayoshi’s 1st Birthday BBQ in Golden Gate Park!
6/20/09 – SF Mission District Crawl #2
6/27/09 - Volunteer @ SF JACL Chapter's Youth Fishing Derby
TBD – Nakayoshi Planning Retreat (July)
TBD – Napa Wine Tasting Trip (July)
8/22/09 – Tahoe Camping Trip

Friday, May 15: Japanese Heritage Night with the San Francisco Giants

Join us this Friday on May 15th at AT&T Park in San Francisco to celebrate Japanese Heritage Night with the Giants and watch infielder Travis Ishikawa take on the visiting NY Mets! Tickets are only $20, and include an authentic ceramic sake set with five free taste tests. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will also support the SF Hep B Free! Campaign. Also enjoy pre-game entertainment with your Nakayoshi friends in a special Japanese heritage section with hundreds of other Japanese Giants fans starting at 5:00 pm. Game start time is 7:15 pm.

Call (415) 972-2298 to buy your tickets, and tell them you're with Nakayoshi! Look out for the Nakayoshi table at the park before game time! Tickets are only $20!! Buy them ASAP!!!

UPDATE: Nakayoshi has a limited number of discounted tickets available for $15! E-mail us ASAP directly at for availability. Please note that discounted tickets do not include the promotional SF Giants ceramic sake set and taste tests.

For more information on this month’s social or how to get involved with the Social Committee, email

What: SF Giants Japanese Heritage Night
Date: Friday, May 15, 2009
Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Time: Festivities start 5:00 pm, game starts 7:15 pm

Price: $20 w/sake set (call 415.972.2298 to order tix); $15 w/out sake set (e-mail for discounted ticket availability)

Saturday, May 16: Volunteer at 5th Annual SF Asian Heritage Street Celebration!

This year’s festival held in conjunction with API Heritage Month will be in San Francisco Civic Center outside the Asian Art Museum and the Little Saigon neighborhood. The festival is expecting over 100,000 people and will feature two stages, arts and crafts, food, karaoke, traditional and pop culture, import cars, Thai kickboxing, carnival rides and games, as well as free Hep B screenings with the SF Hep B Free campaign.

Nakayoshi is taking signups for the 3-6pm shift, and could use as many volunteers as possible to help out! E-mail us at if you can make the shift! Nakayoshi will also be at the JACL information booth all day starting at 11am. Stop by and say hi while you check out the rest of the festival! More information on the AHSC is at

What: Volunteer at the 5th Annual SF Asian Heritage Street Celebration
Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009
Location: SF Civic Center (On Larkin, between Grove and Ellis)

Time: 3:00-6:00 pm

Friday, May 29: SF Marina District Crawl

It's been a while since our last neighborhood crawl, but not to worry, the social committee has heard your requests for another nighttime outing! This time we'll be hitting up SF's Marina district, starting the evening off at Gravity and seeing where the night takes us from there. Come on out with your posse for some (21+) Friday night fun with Nakayoshi! Let us know if you're in by RSVPing at

What: SF Marina District Crawl
Date: Friday, May 29, 2009
Starting Location: Gravity, 3251 Scott St (between Lombard and Chestnut), San Francisco, CA 94123
Time: 9:00pm - 2:00am

Sunday, May 31: Monthly Planning Meeting

Nakayoshi's core committee meets on the last Sunday of every month in SF Japantown to plan out the great volunteer opportunities and fun social events we put on for you all. Want to get more involved? Have some ideas or feedback of your own? We could always use another pair of hands and fresh minds to help out our committees! Let us know if you're coming by e-mailing us at

What: May Monthly Planning Meeting
Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009
Location: National JACL Headquarters, 1765 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94115
Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm

Other Community Events in May
Here are a couple other API and Japanese American community events you might catch some us at this month:

Sunday, May 17: South San Francisco Asian Heritage Month Celebration
Co-Sponsored by South San Francisco Asian Social Club and Friends of Parks and Recreation
12 noon-3:00pm @ Joseph Fernekes Community Center, Orange Park, South San Francisco (on Orange Avenue between Tennis Drive and Memorial Drive)
$8 for adults, $3 ages 12 and under; $5 after 1:00pm for adults
RSVP: (650) 255-9974

Sunday, May 24: Berkeley United Methodist Church 51st Annual Japanese American Food Bazaar
Futomaki and inari sushi, curry rice, udon, and other delicious Japanese American food!
12 noon-4:00pm @ Berkeley United Methodist Church
1710 Carleton Street (at McGee), Berkeley, CA

Hope to see you all around!

All Nakayoshi events are free and open to anyone unless otherwise noted. Feel free to forward this message along to your friends or anyone interested. Not on the Nakayoshi e-mail list? Click here to subscribe. Have questions? Want to sign up or RSVP for an event? E-mail Nakayoshi at For additional information and updates, be sure to check the Nakayoshi blog and website and, or find our group page on Facebook! Nakayoshi is a program sponsored by the Northern California Western Nevada Pacific District of the Japanese American Citizens League.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Japanese American Bazaar in Berkeley

Join Nakayoshi to support the Berkeley Methodist United Church's 51st Annual Food Bazaar. As part of a long tradition in the community, BMU will be selling futomaki and inari sushi, curry rice, udon, and other delicious Japanese American food!

Berkeley United Methodist Church
51st Annual Food Bazaar
Sunday, May 24th - Noon to 4 p.m.
1710 Carleton Street (at McGee) in Berkeley

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May Social Event: SF Giants Japanese Heritage Night 5/15

Take me out to the ball game

Nakayoshi and friends are heading out to support the SF Giants and celebrate their annual Japanese heritage night.
Join us on May 15th at 5:00pm and receive an authentic ceramic sake set with five free taste tests. Also enjoy pre-game entertainment with your Nakayoshi friends in a special Japanese heritage section with hundreds of other Japanese Giants fans.

Call (415) 972-2298 to buy your tickets, and tell them you're with Nakayoshi! We can't wait to see you there. Tickets are only $20!!

For more information on this month’s social or how to get involved with the Social Committee, email

Friday, May 1, 2009

Much Needed Recap - We've been busy!

Over the past two months, our Nakayoshi calendar has been crazy busy! And things haven't slowed down one bit! But if you haven't joined us for our social or volunteer events... you're definitely missing out and we encourage you to join us! Just read about what's been happening with Nakayoshi over the past few months!

Tokyo Sonata Screening @ SFIAAF
Back in early March, our March Social began with a screening of Tokyo Sonata at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) followed by dinner & karaoke. Event Coordinator Emily Leach did an amazing job in organizing group tickets for the screening and we even caught a group picture with Tokyo Sonata Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa! We later learned that Tokyo Sonata won Best Film and Best Screenwriter, and Kurosawa won Best Director at the festival! And of course, what better way to end a screening then with delicious shabu shabu! Heading down to Mum's to fill our stomachs and singing our hearts out karaoking in J-town. The night was definitely a successful social event!

Nichi Bei Time's 1st Annual Tofu Dessert Contest & Festival
For our March Volunteer event, Nakayoshi volunteered with Nichi Bei Times at their Tofu Dessert Contest and Festival and had an amazing time! The fun was never ending, with community vendors bringing their own unique tofu products to sample, children's tofu games with giant square sponges that looked like tofu, and tofu haiku contests there was entertainment for all! And what was more exciting, Nakayoshi members Vincent Chang and Emily Leach both competed in the Dessert Contest! We are definitely looking forward to next year's Tofu Festival!

Nakayoshi @ 42nd Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
Participating at our first community festival, we couldn't have picked a better weekend then the 42nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. With many of our volunteers involved in all aspects of the festival, our hands were a bit busy but we still found time to table and meet some of the other young professionals enjoying the festival. If you stopped by the JACL table, we hope to see you soon @ our upcoming events! Look for us at our next festival - the Asian Heritage Street Celebration on May 16th (11am-6pm)!

Nakayoshi April Social - Hike @ Purisma Creek
Our Social Committee did an amazing job planning April's social event! Kudos goes to Event Coordinator Atsushi Miyamoto, who test ran the course prior to our hike! Hiking up in the hills at Half Moon Bay, the group had a great time chattin' it up and enjoying the beauty of all the greenery and flowers along the trail. Escaping from city life felt amazing, and it was almost felt like those elementary school days when your class took natural science hikes. Seeing all types of creatures, watching out for poison oak, and everyone eating home made packed lunches. Definitely an adventure and worth seeing the view from the top! Check out the video made by Nakayoshi member Matt Mori and view pictures on Nakayoshi's picasa albums!

Nakayoshi Volunteers with West Valley JACL Chapter @ Nikkei Matsuri
Helping out our fellow JACL Chapters, Nakayoshi helped volunteer at the WV JACL Chapter Strawberry Shortcake Booth! Not bad for a beautiful Sunday afternoon, helping serve up some sweet desserts for their chapter fundraiser! It was a great festival, with performances, a delicious variety of food booths, and tons of amazing vendors.

It's definitely been busy for the past few months, and there's more to come! So if you haven't already, come out and volunteer or network with other young professionals at one of our upcoming socials!