2017 Festival Entertainment announced!

We are proud to announce an exciting entertainment lineup for the seventh annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, which will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street (at Geary Boulevard) in San Francisco. From breakout national stars like spoken word poetry / hip-hop act G Yamazawa from North Carolina and ukulele virtuoso Aidan James from Hawai‘i, to emerging artists with debut albums like singer-songwriter MJ Lee. and Trace Repeat, an Oakland-based Asian American funk band that defies stereotypes, the day is balanced by outstanding cultural performances such as the iconic San Jose Taiko, Parangal Dance Company (Filipino dance) and Chung Ngai Dance Troupe (lion dancing).

See more about our exciting entertainment lineup below:

G Yamazawa

G Yamazawa is a National Poetry Slam Champion and MC born and raised in Durham, N.C. He is a Kundiman Fellow, Team Backpack Finalist, and has toured more than 150 colleges both domestic and internationally. His work has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, the Pentagon, TV One’s Verses and Flow, and for the White House Initiative. His debut album “Shouts to Durham” is now available on all major streaming platforms.

WATCH video for “North Cack” 

Aidan James

Aidan James

Aidan James is a 15 year-old, award-winning singer-songwriter, originally from Hawai‘i now living in California. He started playing the ukulele at age 4 and singing came naturally helping him overcome a speech impediment. Although the ukulele is mainly known for Hawaiian music, Aidan has taken it to a different level infusing its sound into pop, rock and contemporary music.

At ages 13 and 14, Aidan was nominated for the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano award (“Hawaii’s Grammy’s”). His first full-length album, “Echoes,” was released in 2015 and the single from his album, “The Girl on the TV Screen,” took first place in the ISC 2015, Pop/Top 40 category. Aidan made history being the youngest artist ever to be honored for these accolades.

Aidan has toured with Train and recently opened for Michael Bolton. He has performed all over the world including Tahiti and Japan and is currently working on his new album to be released later this year.

Aidan proudly rocks a Kamaka Ukulele.

Social Media:

Website: AidanJamesMusic808.com

Instagram: @ajofficial

Twitter: @aidanjames

Facebook: @AidanJames

Trace Repeat

Trace Repeat is an Oakland-based six-piece soul and funk band. “We do it dirty, and we make it look sexy,” the band says. “We believe in reviving the aesthetics of our Motown forefathers, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and the tempting Temptations.”


Trace Repeat – NPR Tiny Desk Contest 2017


Trace Repeat on NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/trace-repeat-making-unapologetically-sexy-funk-soul-music-n728076

Trace Repeat on Huffpost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/if-you-dont-feel-trace-repeats-funky-groove-check_us_588abe13e4b0020b224b4375

San Jose Taiko

Since 1973, San Jose Taiko (SJT) has been mesmerizing audiences with the powerful, spellbinding, and propulsive sounds of the taiko. Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, SJT has broadened this historical art form into a style that joins traditional rhythms with other world and contemporary music, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin, jazz and hip hop, bridging many styles.

San Jose Taiko members perform nationally and internationally in concerts, residencies, and festivals. The group composes original works, and has collaborated in joint concerts with internationally renowned performing artists including local groups, Abhinaya Dance Company of SJ and the Bangerz.

San Jose Taiko leads workshops, and classes for all ages and levels across the country through nationally recognized programs like the highly acclaimed tour residencies and the Junior Taiko program.

More information can be found at taiko.org.

MJ Lee.

MJ Lee. is a heartfelt indie pop/rock musician who crafts songs that are sincere, melodic, and alive. The Bay Area-based singer-songwriter combines honest, poetic lyrics with pop sensibilities and an expansive, imaginative sonic palette. Her sound draws from a wide range of influences, from the melancholic rock of Jimmy Eat World to the lush soundscapes of Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi.

With her debut release, “The Lights Ahead,” Lee. showcases her ability to write memorable anthems and weave them into compelling narratives. The six-song concept album tells the story of her artistic coming-of-age and the transformation of a creative vision into lived reality.

A self-taught songwriter who has played the violin since childhood, Lee. strives to write music that is emotionally resonant and probes the depths and heights of human experience. The period at the end of Lee. signifies the abbreviation of her last name and signifies “the parts of ourselves that don’t show on the surface but that we carry with us nonetheless.”

Parangal Dance Company

Parangal Dance Company

Parangal Dance Company is a Filipino Folk Dance Group based in the San Francisco Bay Area that aspires to inspire. Parangal Dance Company’s mission is to give tribute to Philippine heritage by preserving and promoting ethnic attire, music, and dance through research, workshops and performances. The group aims to serve as a bridge, inspiring and connecting Filipino Americans to their roots to give them a sense of pride and identity, while educating diverse communities to foster awareness and appreciation of Philippine culture.

Chung Ngai Dance Troupe

Chung Ngai Dance Troupe2

Established in 1966, Chung Ngai Dance Troupe is a nonprofit Chinese performing arts organization. Our mission is to promote and preserve Chinese culture in the United States through performing arts. In addition, Chung Ngai offers opportunities for members and volunteers alike to participate in events such as the Chinese New Year parade. In the process, participants learn about Chinese culture and gain experience in performing arts. Chung Ngai is an organization run solely by our members. Since the 1970’s, Chung Ngai has been a staple unit of the Southwest Airlines’ Lunar New Year Parade.

Come visit Tiny Tofu Town at the fifth annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival!

Tiny Tofu Town banner

Located outdoors in the Buchanan Mall in San Francisco’s Japantown!

Our Tiny Tofu Town is a feast of activities for children and families! Familiar children’s activities such as a jumpy house will be supplemented by a host of soy- and tofu-related games and crafts for the entire family, including:

  • Tofu Target
  • Tofu Toss
  • Lasso Tofu
  • Soy Spin
  • Color Me Soy
  • Tofu Wear

*Schedule as of 6/1/2015, subject to change.

Special thanks to volunteers from Japanese Community Youth Council’s Japantown Youth Leaders

5-TinyTofuTown_watergunsLasso Tofu_DSC7727Tofu Toss_DSC7728 5-TinyTofuTown_merch_volunteer_BenKam  IMG_3510 TofuPanda_CutieTofutti

Emceee Biographies: Jana Katsuyama and Mike Inouye

Emcees Jana Katsuyama and Mike Inouye

Jana Katsuyama, reporter, KTVU Fox 2

Jana Katsuyama is an award-winning journalist who has been part of the Bay Area’s KTVU Channel 2 News team since April 2007 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Jana has reported live from Tokyo in the days following the Tohoku Japan earthquake and tsunami, presenting stories with Bay Area connections as people began to evacuate during the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Jana has been honored with multiple Emmy Awards, Associated Press awards in California and in Ohio for Best Enterprise Reporting and Best Writing, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Peninsula Press Club. She was part of the KTVU Ten O’Clock News team that won a National Edward R. Murrow Award. Prior to KTVU, Jana worked at WDTN, an NBC affiliate in Ohio, as well as KBJR in Duluth, Minnesota.
She has been emcee for the Nichi Bei Foundation’s Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival since it began in 2011.

Jana graduated from Oberlin College with Honors, majoring in English Literature and East Asian Studies. She worked in Japan for the Japanese government’s JET Program before pursuing her career in broadcast journalism.

Mike Inouye, traffic anchor, NBC Bay Area

South Bay native Mike Inouye is the Traffic Anchor for NBC Bay Area and can be seen weekday mornings on “Today in the Bay.” His career roadmap has been varied, to say the least. Raised a local farmer, he simultaneously lived lives in the high-tech world of computers and internet, as well as professional comedian, finally ending up here as your traffic guy.
As a professional comedian, Mike has appeared at clubs ranging from the Comedy Store© in Hollywood to ComedySportz© San José. He still performs on occasion as a professional improvisational comedian and you may have heard his voice-over acting in a number of video games over the years.
His news career has garnered three RTNDA awards for his traffic reporting, two Emmy awards for his morning news team, and a dozen additional Emmy nominations including one for his work on “Dreams to Dust,” a 2008 documentary on the World War II Japanese American incarceration experience.
Mike is an alumnus of Mountain View High School and a proud product of the Bay Area where he, his wife and two kids have always called home.