Press Release – Nihonmachi Little Friends Celebrates 35th Anniversary

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF), a bilingual and multicultural childcare organization in San Francisco’s Japantown, recently held a “Spring Social” for its supporters to kick off the agency’s 35th anniversary celebration. The event was a part of the year-long celebration and took place at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco’s Fillmore District.

NLF recently announced that it met its capital campaign goal of $2.2 million to fund the purchase and renovation of the historic 1830 Sutter Street building. “NLF is ecstatic to celebrate these important milestones with friends and supporters of our community,” said Cathy Inamasu, Executive Director of NLF. Formally known as the Japanese YWCA, the building was entrusted to NLF as part of the settlement of a community-supported lawsuit to save the building.

NLF is now embarking on a $300,000 Building Preservation Fund to ensure the continued upkeep of the Sutter Street facility for use by future generations, and to honor the legacy of the Issei women who built it. “With the help of our community friends and supporters, we are confident that we can accomplish this goal,” said Inamasu.

During the reception, NLF’s Board Chair, Adrienne Shiozaki Woo, raised a toast in honor of Hatsuro “Hats” Aizawa and his wife Amey, who recently announced that one-third of a newly formed Aizawa Family Trust will go towards NLF. The evening ended with an electrifying performance by Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele, with a repertoire that incorporated elements of jazz, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and rock.

Upcoming events to celebrate NLF’s 35th anniversary will include an unveiling/dedication ceremony of the Tateuchi Auditorium to be held in November. The event will feature an original performance by Brenda Wong Aoki, who is acclaimed as one of America’s foremost solo performing artists. Plans are also underway for a Family Day in December, which will include mochi-pounding, singing by NLF children, and a performance by Eth-Noh-Tec, featuring award-winning storytellers Robert Kikuchi and Nancy Wong.

For more information about NLF or to contribute to the Building Preservation Fund, visit NLF’s website at or call (415) 922-8898. ### Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF) is a community-based, Japanese, bilingual and multicultural childcare organization committed to providing quality and affordable childcare services.

Cathy Inamasu, Executive Director
Nihonmachi Little Friends
(415) 922-8898

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