SAN FRANCISCO — The National Japanese American Historical Society will hold its annual awards dinner on Saturday, March 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St. (at Laguna) in San Francisco Japantown.
This year’s theme is “Crosscurrents: Preserving History Through Change.” The honorees are:
• Lifetime Achievement Award — Former Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka, a World War II veteran who represented Hawaii in the Senate from 1990 to 2013 and supported the establishment of the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center at the Presidio of San Francisco.
• Community Development — Sandy Mori and Robert Hamaguchi of Japantown Task Force Inc., whose goals include preserving and developing San Francisco’s historic Japantown as a culturally and commercially enriched neighborhood and district, and as a local, national, and international resource; and creating an atmosphere of safety, beauty, vitality, and prosperity for the present and future residents, organizations, institutions, and businesses residing or located in Japantown.
• Educational Excellence — The Japanese Bilingual and Bicultural Program (JBBP) at Rosa Parks Elementary School (San Francisco Unified School District), which provides Japanese language instruction by native speakers in the context of authentic cultural experiences. Since 1973, JBBP has been recognized for providing an outstanding educational experience, due to the combined efforts of its founders, teachers, and families and the sustained support of the community.
• Community Recognition — Karl Matsushita of the Japanese American National Library. He has devoted decades to collecting and preserving primary and secondary source material related to Japanese Americans, particularly books and newspapers, and making those materials available to the public.
“Human historical events flow from one generation to the next,” NJAHS said in a statement. “With the passage of time, how do we protect our cultural resources, preserve our history and promote a more just society? These individuals and organizations have made extraordinary contributions that reverberate over the course of time. Their impact is everlasting.”