APA Heritage Month Kicked Off in Japantown

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SAN FRANCISCO — A kickoff event for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was held on May 1 in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza.

Mayor London Breed with Rosalyn Tonai of the National Japanese American Historical Society.

The 2021 APA Heritage Awards were presented. Significant Milestones honorees:

• San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee (60th anniversary)

• San Francisco-Seoul Sister City Committee (45th anniversary)

• National Japanese American Historical Society (40th anniversary)

Special Recognitions honorees:

• Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California (70th anniversary)

Mayor London Breed with Tasha Yorozu of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California.

• 舊金山世界日報 S.F. World Journal (45th anniversary)

City and county officials who delivered greetings in person included Mayor London Breed, Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, Supervisors Dean Preston and Myrna Melgar, and State Sen.

Scott Weiner. Breed signed a formal proclamation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in San Francisco. Representing the APA Heritage Foundation were Claudine Cheng, president, who is also coordinator of the 2021 APA Heritage Celebration Committee, and JJ Lara, board chair.

Although it was a celebratory event, the speakers also condemned anti-Asian hate crimes and called for unity among the city’s communities.

San Francisco Taiko Dojo

The socially distanced gathering was welcomed by Richard Hashimoto of the Japantown Merchants Association and Grace Horikiri of the Japantown Community Benefit District. Special guests included Consul General of Japan Toru Maeda and Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Kelly Noelani Eshima and her court.

Entertainment was provided by Illyan Kim Korean Dance Group, jazz musician Francis Wong, and San Francisco Taiko Dojo under the direction of Seiichi Tanaka.

Learn more: https://apasf.org

Illyan Kim Korean Dance Group

Photos by Mark Shigenaga

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