SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) welcomes Ryan Kimura as the new director of programs and community affairs.
He is the latest addition of young energy hoping to sustain the legacy of the JCCCNC by developing new and creative programs for the center.
“I am extremely excited to be joining the JCCCNC family, and I am thankful for the opportunity to create, build, and grow in the center. I understand Japantown is constantly evolving, and as Mr. Yori Wada expressed in his vision for the center over 30 years ago, the JCCCNC will need to also grow in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the community,” said Kimura.
“As a business owner in Japantown, I realize the importance of sharing the Japanese culture to new audiences in order to help promote growth within the community. The center is one of the pillars of Japantown, and I will do my best to contribute to its success in keeping the community alive and vibrant.”
Kimura was born and raised in San Francisco and is an active member of the community and the center. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Asian American studies, he was a Nikkei Community Internship Program participant at the JCCCNC in 2003, is a member of NihonmachiRoots, volunteers on numerous community organizations’ event committees, performs taiko at many community events, is currently working on a marketing program for the Japantown Merchants Association, and is also a successful small-business owner in Japantown.
“With his broad knowledge and experience working and volunteering in the community, we feel Ryan will be a great asset to our team,” states Jennifer Hamamoto, JCCCNC program manager. “He is already knowledgeable about the JCCCNC and its current programming, and we are looking forward to see what new programs come to life at the JCCCNC, bringing in younger generations to help sustain the center as a vibrant, welcoming place.”
JCCCNC Executive Director Paul Osaki remembers Kimura well from the internship program: “He was Intern No. 2, he had no name, but he managed to make quite the impression on all of us. In all seriousness, we are pleased to welcome Mr. Kimura on board, and we look forward to an exciting future with him.”
For information on the center’s programs, visit www.jcccnc.org.