Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival This Weekend


SAN FRANCISCO — The Nichi Bei Foundation will launch a new event called the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival: Discover the Joy of Soy on Saturday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza, Post and Buchanan streets.

This day-long festival will focus on the health benefits of soy and tofu, feature various soy-related vendors, and center around a Tofu Dessert Competition. There will be live performances, audience participation games and a raffle with a grand prize of $1,000 cash.

The event will be emceed by NBC Bay Area reporter George Kiriyama and KTVU-2 reporter Jana Katsuyama, with the Tofu Dessert Competition emceed by Kara Tsuboi, the Oakland A’s in-game host and contributor to CBS News.

“This festival is essentially a tribute to the all mighty soybean, truly one of the most versatile food products in Asian culture, if not the world,” said Kenji G. Taguma, president of the Nichi Bei Foundation. “We’re excited about creating a new, fun venue to celebrate and learn about the benefits of soy and tofu.”

Food vendors will include:

• Kikkoman

• Hodo Soy Beanery

• Traveling Takoyaki

• Tofu Yu

• San Jose Tofu

• Megumi Natto

• JapaCurry food truck

• Nakayoshi Young Professionals featuring tofu sushi, tofu salad, garlic edamame and mabo dofu

North American Food Distributing Co. Inc., Mori-Nu Tofu, Sacramento Tofu and Aloha Shoyu will be donating products as well.

Performers include:

• San Francisco Taiko Dojo Rising Stars

• Genyukai Berkeley (Okinawa sanshin)

• Guitarist Michael Sasaki (Cold Blood/Hiroshima) and band leader George Yoshida

• C.D. Ka‘ala Carmack (ukulele)

• Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea (hula)

• Asian American rap group Scojourners

Proceeds from sponsorships, vendors and some food sales help the Nichi Bei Foundation continue to keep the Japanese American and Asian American community connected, informed and empowered through the publication of the Nichi Bei Weekly — the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country — and its website,

The event is patterned after the Los Angeles Tofu Festival, which was held for 12 years by the Little Tokyo Service Center, and is similar to a smaller event held by the Nichi Bei Times in 2009.

Major sponsors include PG&E, Kikkoman and Union Bank. Media sponsors are KTSF, Nichi Bei Weekly and SportsJ. For more information, visit

Festival Schedule (subject to change)

11 a.m. — San Francisco Taiko Dojo Rising Stars

11:25 a.m. — Genyukai Berkeley

12 p.m. — Michael Sasaki with George Yoshida

12:20 p.m. — Ka’ala Carmack ukulele group

1 p.m. — Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea

1:30 p.m. — Tofu Dessert Competition

3:10 p.m. — Soy and Tofu Festival Raffle

3:30 p.m. — Scojourners