Remembering Those Who Have Passed On: 2011 Clean-up Day


A scene from last year's Clean-up Day. (JCCCNC Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — The following announcement is from the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC):

Oftentimes we find ourselves too busy in our daily lives to honor our past and remember those who have passed on. The Japanese Cemetery is a unique cultural treasure that deserves our attention, our respect, OUR TIME.

The place represents our history, our loved ones, friends and family. For many of us, it’s the place where our grandparents, great-grandparents, parents, family and friends are laid to rest. For all of us, the loved ones that rest there represent our history.

The JCCCNC is organizing a youth and family community Clean-up Day at the Japanese Cemetery, 1300 Hillside Blvd., Colma, on Saturday, May 21 (weekend before Memorial Day), 10 a.m. to 12 noon. For directions, go to

The JCCCNC will supply garbage bags, tools, cleaning supplies, watering buckets, drinking water, rags, bento and flowers (please bring your owns gloves and favorite tools).

The Japanese Cemetery is located in the quiet town of Colma on the San Francisco Peninsula. It takes about 20 minutes from San Francisco by car. The three-acre cemetery is the final resting place for more than 5,000 people, and the tower commemorating three crewmen from the famous ship Kanrin-Maru is there as well.

In 1901, the Japanese Benevolent Society of California was established with a grant from the Meiji Emperor of Japan to provide “for the relief of sick, disabled or destitute persons of the Japanese race” in California and to provide “a suitable burial ground for deceased Japanese.”

The society performed its historic mandate over the years, assisting those in need and acquiring land in Colma for a Japanese cemetery. It also served as a unifying force in the Japanese American community by bringing together the Buddhist, Shinto and Christian religious organizations, and by participating in local historical, cultural, and memorial events that honor the Japanese heritage in the U.S.

Video from 2010 Clean-up Day:

For more information, call (415) 567-5505 or visit


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