Posts Tagged ‘union bank’

Better Know Your FiDi Highrises: “The California Building” at 350 Cal – Walruses Everywhere – Alaska Connection

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

What used to be at 350 California at Sansome was the 160 foot tall Alaska Commercial Building

But in 1979 it was replaced by the 325 foot tall, 23-story California Building (aka Bank of Tokyo Building and the Union Bank Building).

All that’s left of the Alaska connection are these walrus gargoyles.

See?

I am the walrus, no, I’m the walrus, all day long

Look for these friendly critters the next time you’re in the area.

 

This is the Final Weekend for Your 44th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Your 44th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco Japantown is on, once again, for 2011.

Here was the setup for Day 3 this AM complete with Honda generators and mad sake. You know, this pretty much looks just like every annual village festival in Japan:

But sadly, once again, my Hello Kitty SmartCar wan’t allowed to roll with all the Japanese iron. Oh well:

Here’s your overview, your sked, and your FAQ.

And the Big Parade comes tomorrow, Sunday, April 17th, 2011

And St. Mary’s Medical Center will conduct free medical screenings at the east end on Post near Laguna, same as usual:

It’s on!

All the deets, after the jump

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USF Undergraduate Jeddie Kawahatsu Crowned Queen of Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival 2011

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Famous San Francisco photographer David Yu was on hand over the weekend to photograph the 2011 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program.

Get all the deets, after the jump.

Princess Richelle Farley, Princess Kaori Saito, Princess Lauren Kawawaki, First Princess Tamiko Escalante, and Queen Jeddie Kawahatsu along with the gang from the 2010 Queen Program:

Click to expand

All the deets, after the jump

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OMG, the Weather’s Great for the 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival 2011 in Japantown – April 9, 10, 16, 17

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Your 44th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco Japantown is on for 2011.

Here’s your overview, your sked, and your FAQ.

And tonight starting at 6:00 PM at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre, there’ll be the NCCBF Queen Program

…featuring Kaori Saito, Tamiko Escalante, Richelle Farley, Jeddie Kawahatsu, Lauren Kawawaki for 2011:

And on all four days, St. Mary’s Medical Center will conduct free medical screenings at the east end on post near Laguna, same as usual:

It’s on!

All the deets, after the jump

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Free Hawaiian Music in Japantown Today Until 6:00 PM: Kōkua Japan Concert to Benefit Japan Disaster Relief

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Looks like that rain will stay away, so why not hit Japantown today?

The scene this AM during setup:

Kōkua Japan San Francisco concert on April 2 to benefit Japan disaster relief

Free event in Japantown’s Peace Plaza to include Hawaiian music, Polynesian dance and diverse Bay Area bands

SAN FRANCISCO, California — In response to the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan, a group of concerned citizens from the Bay Area’s Hawaiian and Asian American communities have organized Kōkua Japan San Francisco, a fundraising concert in Japantown’s Peace Plaza from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2011. “Kōkua” means “help” in Hawaiian.

Donations to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund will be solicited at the free event, which will also raise funds through raffles of donated merchandise and T-shirt sales. The nonprofit Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will collect the monies and deliver them to the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC), which administers the earthquake relief fund along with Union Bank. One hundred percent of the fund will be distributed for direct assistance to residents of the affected area of Japan.

The entertainment on the Peace Plaza stage, at Post and Buchanan streets, will be emceed by NBC Bay Area newsman and stand-up comedian Mike Inouye. The lineup includes: * Hawaiian music groups: Steven Espaniola & Friends, Faith Ako & Friends, Side Order Band featuring Chris Kamaka & Asa Young, ‘AHAmele ‘Ukulele Band, Ho’omana and JD Puli & Friends * Polynesian dance troupes: Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu (hula), Ke ‘Olu Makani ‘O Mauna Loa with kumu Meleana Manuel (hula), Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniākea (hula), Merahi O Tehani (Tahitian ‘ōte’a) * Diverse musical acts: Feelosophy (funk, soul), Project Gojira (fusion), Native Elements (reggae), Stymie & the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra (funk, rock, ska.)

Local merchants have donated items for raffle prizes, while Hawaiian Airlines is flying in 200 special “Aloha” T-shirts for sale with the help of the Hawai’i Lieutenant Governor’s office, which is coordinating the islands’ Aloha for Japan fundraising effort. The T-shirt, which uses a rising sun for the “o” in “Aloha,” will sell at Kōkua Japan San Francisco for $25, from which the $15 profit per shirt will go to earthquake relief. Sponsors include Aloha Warehouse, Colortone Digital, Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, Susie Kagami, Osaki Creative Group, and Sound Innovations. Thanks also go to Sandy Lee of the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department.


2010 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program at the Sundance Kabuki

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

You’ve already met the Court of the 2010 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program a while back, so now take a look at David Yu’s photos from last night’s big event at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre on Post in Japantown.

All photos via DavidYuWeb.

Here’s the new Queen for 2010 – Arisa Hiroi, a student at UC Davis:

And here’s the entire 2010 Court at the end of last night’s program: Ayae Yamamoto, Corey Yasuye Fujioka, Arisa Hiroi, Ashley Kiyoko Nakatani, Jennifer Kiyomi Tanaka:

Name: Ayae Yamamoto
Sponsor: Nikei Lion Club of San Francisco
Education: BA from UC Berkeley
Employer/Position: University Eye Center (Berkeley)/Patient Services Assistant
Goals: Become a physician (OB/GYN) volunteering in third world nations
Age: 23
Parents/Residence: Taashi and Masako Yamamoto / San Francisco, CA

Name: Corey Yasuye Fujioka
Sponsor: Takara Sake USA Incorporated
Education: BS in Food Science from Cal Poly State University
Employer/Position Held: Sweet Earth Chocolates (SLO)/Chocolate Production
Goals: To change the way we eat: physically, mentally, environmentally and financially healthy
Age: 22
Parents/Residence: Rober Masami and Diance Keiko Fujioka / Fremont, CA

Name: Arisa Hiroi
Sponsor: Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California
Education: BA expected in 2010 from University of California Davis in Japanese and Sociology AB/Minor in Education
Employer/Position held: UCD East Asian Languages & Cultures Dept/Japanese Dept Reader
Goals: To become a Japanese teacher in US
Age: 19
Parents/Residence: Kunikiko and Mari Hiroi / San Francisco, CA

Name: Ashley Kiyoko Nakatani
Sponsor: Nikkei West
Education: BA June 2010 from University of California Davis double Major in International Relations and Communications with a Minor in Writing
Employer/Position Held: UC Davis Washington Program/Student Advisor and Minato Japanese Restaurant/Server and Hostess
Goals: Pursue a career in the field of International Relations with companies doing business in Japan
Age: 22
Parents/Residence: Neal Kanji Nakatani, Patricia Kiyoko Sakauye / San Jose, CA

Name: Jennifer Kiyomi Tanaka
Sponsor: Golden Gate Optimists Club of San Francisco
Education: BS in Health Science/Minor in Psychology form Dominican University of California, MS i Occupational Therapy expected from Dominican University of California
Employer/Position Held: Knowledge Learning Corporation-Champions/After school Science Instructor
Goals: Knowledgeable and innovative therapist-advocate and empower on personal and community level
Age: 22
Parents/Residence: Harry Hidejiro Tanaka (HI), Susan Hisako Tanaka (SF) / San Francisco, CA

And here’s the 2009 Court coming back to join in:

Congratulations to all.  

“The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival now celebrating its 43rd year, is one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. Each year, over 150,000 people attend this dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American Community. Please join us and become a sponsor of this popular Japanese American community event.

This year’s Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday April 10-11 and April 17-18, 2010. All are welcome to join in the festivities as we celebrate Japanese and Japanese American culture in San Francisco’s Japantown!

The festival will be held on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on April 18, beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown.

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is said to be the second largest festival outside of Washington, D.C. to celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms; and held at one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States.

When?

Festival: Saturday and Sunday, April 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 2010

Grand Parade: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Queen Pageant: Saturday, April 10, 2010

Where?

Festival: Japantown (@ Post & Buchanan Streets), San Francisco

Grand Parade: Begins at San Francisco City Hall and ends at Post & Fillmore

Queen Pageant: AMC Kabuki 8 Theater, Japantown

Meet the Court of the 2010 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program

Monday, March 15th, 2010

That David Yu, he’s all over town – here’s what he captured in Japantown a few days back at the 43rd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program Preview Day.

via davidyuweb

The Queen Program (don’t call it a pageant) will occur on Saturday, April 10th in conjunction with the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. More deets to come when they get everything posted. Anyway, here are the candidates for 2010:

Name: Jennifer Kiyomi Tanaka
Sponsor: Golden Gate Optimists Club of San Francisco
Education: BS in Health Science/Minor in Psychology form Dominican University of California, MS i Occupational Therapy expected from Dominican University of California
Employer/Position Held: Knowledge Learning Corporation-Champions/After school Science Instructor
Goals: Knowledgeable and innovative therapist-advocate and empower on personal and community level
Age: 22
Parents/Residence: Harry Hidejiro Tanaka (HI), Susan Hisako Tanaka (SF) / San Francisco, CA

Name: Ayae Yamamoto
Sponsor: Nikei Lion Club of San Francisco
Education: BA from UC Berkeley
Employer/Position: University Eye Center (Berkeley)/Patient Services Assistant
Goals: Become a physician (OB/GYN) volunteering in third world nations
Age: 23
Parents/Residence: Taashi and Masako Yamamoto / San Francisco, CA

Name: Arisa Hiroi
Sponsor: Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California
Education: BA expected in 2010 from University of California Davis in Japanese and Sociology AB/Minor in Education
Employer/Position held: UCD East Asian Languages & Cultures Dept/Japanese Dept Reader
Goals: To become a Japanese teacher in US
Age: 19
Parents/Residence: Kunikiko and Mari Hiroi / San Francisco, CA

Name: Corey Yasuye Fujioka
Sponsor: Takara Sake USA Incorporated
Education: BS in Food Science from Cal Poly State University
Employer/Position Held: Sweet Earth Chocolates (SLO)/Chocolate Production
Goals: To change the way we eat: physically, mentally, environmentally and financially healthy
Age: 22
Parents/Residence: Rober Masami and Diance Keiko Fujioka / Fremont, CA

Name: Ashley Kiyoko Nakatani
Sponsor: Nikkei West
Education: BA June 2010 from University of California Davis double Major in International Relations and Communications with a Minor in Writing
Employer/Position Held: UC Davis Washington Program/Student Advisor and Minato Japanese Restaurant/Server and Hostess
Goals: Pursue a career in the field of International Relations with companies doing business in Japan
Age: 22
Parents/Residence: Neal Kanji Nakatani, Patricia Kiyoko Sakauye / San Jose, CA

San Francisco’s 42nd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, 2009

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

As expected, there was a great turnout for the 42nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown today. Sunny skies and the Grand Parade made today the busiest of the four-day festival. Let’s take a look at the staging area this morning.

Its Grand Marshall George Takei! Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (born in San Francisco) is seen here hanging out with Heidi Cheung, Miss San Francisco’s Outstanding Teen 2009 and Crystal Lee, Miss California’s Outstanding Teen 2008.

Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California President and Mrs. Masaaki Tanaka, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America, H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Ichiro Fujisajki, George Takei, and Consul General of Japan and Mrs. Yasumasa Nagamine:

The mise-en-scene in front of City Hall:. Click to expand:

My Melody, Hello Kitty, and Badtz Maru were pleased to be on the scene:

From Hawaii with aloha:

Photographer David Yu was welcomed by all, including this contingent from Los Angeles:

Miss National Asia Dow-An Kou is on the right:

Bevan Dufty chilling with local pageant winners. 

Elizabeth Kress, Miss San Francisco:

And Little Miss San Francisco 2009, Alyssa-Marie Muna:

And now on with the parade:

Senator Leland Yee:

Frosty Senator Mark Leno:

Assemblymember Fiona Ma with Bob Twomey:

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano:

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu:

And his ride for today:

Supervisor Bevan Dufty and company:

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi with the Japanese Ambassador and Consul General:

Supervisor Eric Mar:

 Richard Hashimoto, President of the Japantown Merchants Association:

Thought this was an electric Tesla Roadster at first. Actually, it’s the similar (but lighter) gas-powered Lotus Elise. (Horrible Tesla Motors is long on promises, certainly, but just because a toy car is expensive and is powered by electricity, that doesn’t mean it’s a desirable product, that doesn’t mean it represents “the high end.” Just ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ended up giving his Tesla Roadster back. Go ahead and buy one if you want, though. While you’re at it, why not buy an impractical electric Ultra Motor A2B bike and an impractical electric Segway Scooter as well.)

Speaking of cars, here’s part of the NUMMI contingent all the way from Fremont. It’s the only car factory in the West that’s still operating. Union labor, FYI 

Nihonmachi Little Friends:

And your reward for making it all the way to J-Town? Yummy chicken and rice balls from O-Izakaya Lounge at 1625 Post Street.

See you next year!

It’s On! San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom Festival 2009 Finishes Up This Weekend

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The forecast is for sunny skies and balmy weather, so it’s going to be on this weekend during the 42nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown. Check the shedewl and get over there. You might encounter a Queen, see Grand Marshall George Takei, win a Toyota in the raffle, don an anime costume, wear your kimono, eat comfort food including dessert, and experience Aloha.

Here’s what the past weekend was like.

Of course the haters from the troubled 1600 Webster condo building would prefer to shut the whole shebang down, but unrestrained Hello Kitty joy will continue in the middle of Post Street nevertheless:

From Okinawa with love:

The mise-en-scene. This street festival has all the usual suspects, such as quack “doctors” and the dude who wants you to subscribe to the New York Times. But it also has a lot of unique things. It’s not just another S.F. streetfest:

OMG, it’s your new car! The Corolla you’ll win after you enter the raffle will look something like a green fish, and it will have orange tires – you’ll have to change those out to black if you want to avoid trouble from the authoritahs, however.

From the recent Queen Program at the Sundance Kabuki. Don’t call it a pageant:

These menacing street toughs headed over to the 1600 Webster Building (can you see it with the ornate top up there?) with malice aforethought…

…only to be subdued by this security guard. Whew! WTF? Who’s paying for this gratuitous guard? He looked extremely bored.  

Mckenzie Phillips is back to her old habit of ruining tourist photos. I told her, This is it! You’ve got to stop doing this kind of stuff, M.P.” She said that she’s trying to do better, taking things one day at a time. By the way the Asian Art Museum is getting all geared up for Lords of the Samurai. It’s going to be mega. (Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan continues through May 10, 2009) 

Will Catbus and Totoro return to the Anime contingent in the Grand Parade on Sunday? We can only hope:

FYI, the anime stuff isn’t exactly G-rated. It could surprise you. From the banal…

…to the bizarre:

See you there this weekend!

 

Complete parade lineup, after the jump.

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2009 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program at the Sundance Kabuki

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

As a part of the ongoing Cherry Blossom Festival, we had six candidates at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program last night in Japantown. Yes, there were elaborate costumes and pageantry, but don’t call it a pageant, it’s a “program.” Fair enough, on with the show.

There was a riot of color with all the kimono up on the stage at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre on Post near Fillmore:

Here’s a close-up of your complicated kimono, complete with obi sash and zoori sandals:

Master of Ceremonies George Kiriyama of KNTV NBC Bay Area San Jose Channel 3 / 11 with Mistress of Ceremonies Jana Katsuyama of KTVU Channel 2:

The mise-en-scene. It was standing room only, just like Japantown’s recent Nichi Bei Times Tofu Dessert Competition and Festival

Stephanie Masako Hata of El Cerrito, sponsored by Benihana:

Mari Masuko of San Francisco, sponsored by Union Bank of California:

Sarah Naomi Kasuga of Burlingame, sponsored by Takara Sake USA:

Margaret Cheney of Los Gatos, sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California

Eri Tagaya of Mill Valley, sponsored by the Golden Gate Optimist Club of San Francisco

Yurika Vu of Fremont, sponsored by the Nikkei Lions Club of San Francisco:

Benh Nakajo, Queen Program Advisor:

The Honorable Yasumasa Nagamine, Counsul General of Japan:

Masaaki Tanaka, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California and CEO of Union Bank of California:

You don’t see many giant checks these days:

Receiving the check are General Co-Chairs Richard Hashimoto and Allen Okamoto:

So there you have it.

[UPDATE: Here’s David Yu’s take on Flickr and on PBase.]

Six Candidates Seek Title of Cherry Blossom Queen

Six candidates for 2009 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen were introduced in San Francisco Japantown. It was noted that this year, for budgetary reasons, there will be no talent segment. Organizers hope to bring it back next year.

The six candidates are Margaret Cheney, 24, of Los Gatos, Stephanie Masako Hata, 24, of El Cerrito, Sarah Naomi Kasuga, 24, of Burlingame, Mari Masuko, 23, of San Francisco, Eri Tagaya, 24, of Mill Valley and Yurika Vu, 25, of Fremont.

See you next year!