The San Francisco Japantown Foundation’s mission is to support cultural, community and educational activities for San Francisco Japantown. Its vision is to preserve and honor Japantown’s history by fostering and providing funding for activities that reflect the Japanese American heritage, and to engage Japanese of all generations and all experiences. 

The Foundation was formed in December 2006 through generous endowments by Kintetsu Enterprises of America, Jack Hirose, Hats and Amey Aizawa, Union Bank, and Minami Tamaki LLP. Since 2007, the Foundation has provided more than $700,000 in funding to the community.

The Foundation identifies, and supports assets (historic, social, cultural, economic, and artistic) that benefit the Japantown community. It also advocates for entrepreneurial and creative programs that serve Japantown’s residents, visitors, businesses, congregations, community and cultural organizations by mobilizing and encouraging new contributions, and by facilitating innovative investments and initiatives.

The Foundation invests in Japantown as a geographic and cultural anchor for diverse and changing Japanese American, Japanese, and broader communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Acting as a resource to bring new philanthropic funding to the Japantown community as a whole, the Foundation partners with businesses and corporations by serving as their repository of contributions to the Japantown community. The Foundation also supports and encourages ways to introduce and re-introduce Japanese and Japanese Americans to Japantown organizations and institutions.

In the future, the Foundation will explore initiatives related to:

1) Assisting individuals and families who want to support Japantown’s future through new financial support and sustained philanthropy;

2) Serving as a home for donors interested in supporting Japantown through estate gifts, and who require balanced perspectives that can assist them in determining the most appropriate recipients for their legacy gifts. Because the Foundation supports all Japantown and Japantown-related nonprofit efforts, planned giving to the Foundation also serves the community as a whole; and

3) Providing seed grants to support research and development for innovative projects benefiting Japantown. These projects will include investment in: the arts, business growth and economic diversification, economic stability, real estate, and cultural preservation.


Donate to the Japantown Foundation. Grants and donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law and will be used to fund grants that benefit the Japantown community, its residents, businesses and visitors.

San Francisco Japantown Foundation Board of Director January 2015

Donald K. Tamaki (President)
Aya Ino
Mary Ishisaki
Diane Matsuda
Kathy Nelsen
Allen Okamoto
Jerry Ono
Jon Osaki
Alex Prouty
Sean Tamura-Sato
June-ko Nakagawa
Shinichi Seino

In Memory: Jack Hirose, Hats Aizawa, and Bob Hamaguchi served as foundation board members and played critical roles in advancing the Japantown Foundation. They have passed on, but their contributions to our organization and to the community will always be remembered.

Founding Board Members (2006-2007)
Donald K. Tamaki, Board President
Hats Aizawa
Richard Hashimoto
Jack Hirose
Keith Kamisugi
Eiji Miwa
Sandy Mori
Allen Okamoto
Hiroshi Tomita
Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi, Deputy Consul General of Japan (Advisory Member)

Download the logo of our organization