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Buddhist Festival embrace 1940’s Japantown

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In honor of 66,000 lives lost at Hiroshima. In honor of 39,000 lives lost at Nagasaki . In honor of 110,000 Japanese Americans eradicated to internment camps in 1942. In honor of 20,739 lives lost in this year’s tsunami earthquake.

A Sacramento Buddhist Church embrace a 1940’s Japantown tradition.  

It’s going to be big. 

Over 40,000 people will come for the 65th Annual Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar on August 13-14, 2011.

The festival unites past and present residents of Sacramento’s Japantown neighborhood to the 112 – year old church located on the corner of 2401 Riverside Boulevard and X Street.


Map of Sacramento’s 1940’s Japantown



Many families have moved away from the neighborhood but return yearly to support the fundraiser for the Japanese community.

The festival is one of the few traces left of the original Nihonmachi. Sakura GiftsOsaka Ya, June’s Café are the few remaining businesses in Southside’s dwindling Japantown.

The Japanese American Civil Liberties wall asserts, “1958 – forced removal due to redevelopment, led to the final demise of Sacramento’s Japantown.” 

What happened to Japantown?

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the effects of Executive Order No. 9066 still resonate for those who lived through the ordeal.

Executive Order No.9066 – From Japanese American Civil Liberties Monument 3rd & P Street

U.S. Representative Robert Matsui, husband of current U.S. Representative for California‘s 5th congressional district Doris Matsui was a prominent advocate for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans following the incarceration and exclusion of Japanese Americans during World War II.  As a child, Matsui’s family was forced to eradicate from their Sacramento home and was held in an internment camp at Tule Lake for a year.

Nissei Memorial Wall P & 3rd Street

“Today, we celebrate the freedom to keep tradition alive even after many trials," shares Sherman Iida, festival organizer.

The food for the event requires10,000 pounds of chicken, 1500 pounds of beef for teriyake, 400 pounds of shrimp for tempura and sushi dishes, 500 pounds of sugar and salt for seasonings, and six tons of ice for cool drinks. It take over 700 volunteers to prepare the place for the occassion.

Bringing together a village of volunteers for Sacramento’s
Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar.

The free festival is open to the public.  Neighbors work side by side in harmony to present the vibrancy of The Koyasan Spirit of Children Taiko Group, the grace of the Japanese Folk Song & Dance Society(odori), the teachings of Buddhist Philosophy, the old school funk, soul, R&B, and classic rock sound of The East Wind Band, the peace of gardening with the Sacramento Bonsai Club, the beauty of Ikebana (floral art) by Ikebana School, and the joy of Japanese calligraphy among the many activities. Here is the full schedule.

The festival is the church’s annual fundraiser that supports many programs including sports, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth groups, adult and senior support, and the Japanese language school.

We are proud to be Japanese American. A Picture from the Japanese American Civil Liberties Monument on 3rd & P Street

In honor of those who have lived before us.  Don’t miss two fantastic days of remembrance.


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