The Nichi Bei Foundation will present this fundraising event to support the nonprofit community newspaper Nichi Bei Weekly, and to promote the health benefits of soy bean product consumption and enhance the public knowledge of soy and tofu products.
The Nichi Bei Foundation is an educational and charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping the Japanese American community connected, informed and empowered — primarily through a community newspaper (Nichi Bei Weekly) and Website (www.nichibei.org), as well as educational programming.
About the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly
As the last board of directors of the historic Nichi Bei Times decided to close the newspaper after 63 years in September of 2009, a group of Nichi Bei Times staff and contributing writers, media professionals and community leaders — encouraged and supported by the Japanese American community — set out to rebuild in the spirit of the pioneering Japanese immigrants, brick by brick. They sought to continue a legacy of community leadership through media, which began with the founding of the Nichi Bei Shimbun in 1899 by Kyutaro Abiko.
They established the Nichi Bei Foundation, an educational and charitable nonprofit organization, as a means to support community organizations, shed light on community issues and document the community’s history. Just one week after the last edition of the Nichi Bei Times rolled off the presses, the very first edition of the Nichi Bei Weekly was published as the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country.
The Nichi Bei Weekly has produced some landmark publications, such as:
• The Japanese Culture and Cherry Blossom Festivals Guide, the only annual guide to Japanese culture in the country, featuring stories on cultural arts, cultural arts class listings, and a directory of spring festivals and cultural centers throughout the country;
• The Obon and Summer Festivals Guide, the only publication highlighting summer festivals throughout the nation;
• The San Francisco Japantown Map and Directory, the most comprehensive guide to San Francisco’s Japantown, complete with a bilingual directory;
• The Japanese American Community Resource Guide, highlighting community-based nonprofit organizations, guides and historical maps of the last three remaining Japantowns, cultural arts listings, Japanese Language School Directory, and historical destinations relative to Japanese Americans.
The Nichi Bei Foundation has evolved to present meaningful educational programs such as:
• Films of Remembrance, a day-long showcase of films related to the wartime incarceration of the Japanese American community designed to educate the public and community while providing a venue for filmmakers to share their work;
• Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage. Determined to get the community reconnected to its forgotten legacy, over three years thus far the organization led more than a total of 1,300 on pilgrimages to the former Immigration Station on Angel Island — the entry point for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Asia. This year’s Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, an opportunity to honor the legacy of our immigrant pioneers, learn more about the Japanese American experience on Angel Island, and do family history research;
• Pilgrimage to the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony site, the site of the first settlement of Japanese in America.
“The work done by the (Nichi Bei) Foundation, not only through its stalwart newspaper, but also through the enlightened and dedicated sponsorship of a dizzying array of activities, renders it arguably the extant Nikkei institution that makes the single greatest contribution to the maintenance and enrichment of the history, society, and culture of the Japanese American community.”
— Art Hansen, director emeritus of the California State University, Fullerton Japanese American Oral History Project and former senior historian, Japanese American National Museum
Born in one of the worst economic climates in decades, with virtually no seed money, the pioneering rebirth of the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly has become one of the most inspired community movements in recent memory. Inspired by a community-serving historical legacy, the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly have a simple yet profound mission: to keep the community connected, informed and empowered.