Don Tamaki, Board President and Founding Member
Don Tamaki is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Berkeley Law School, and is a co- founder and Senior Counsel of Minami Tamaki LLP. In 2006, he represented Kintetsu Enterprises of America (KEA) to carry out KEA’s desire to create and endow the San Francisco Japantown Foundation. With roots in the non-profit sector, Don co-founded the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose and was the Executive Director of the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and a member of the legal team which reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States overturning Fred Korematsu’s criminal conviction for defying the government’s incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. The victory strengthened the community’s call for reparations. In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Don to the California Reparations Task Force studying reparations proposals for African Americans for the harm of enslavement and its lingering effects.
Junichiro Ikeda, Board Member
Junichiro “Jun” Ikeda was born and raised in Japan. After finishing high school in Funabashi, he attended university in the U.S. and has a B.A. in Economics from San Francisco State University. Jun has worked in various fields relating to the Japanese market from travel, food industry, and currently is the Vice President and Branch Manager for Union Bank, Japan Center Office. Working in and visiting Japantown has always been a bridge to his native Japan with food, cultural festivals and activities. As a board member he inspires to keep the history and culture of Japantown’s legacy for future generations.
Aya Ino, Board Member
Aya is Chief of Staff to the Chief Talent, Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Adobe, overseeing strategic planning, communications, and business operations. A native of San Francisco, Aya grew up in Japantown attending Nihonmachi Little Friends, the Japanese Bilingual and Bicultural Program, and has been a performer and instructor with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo since 1990. More recently, she was Director of Development & Communications at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, where she currently serves as a volunteer and member of the Board. Aya has a BA in Business Economics from UCLA and M.Ed. from Columbia University.
Mary Ishisaki, Board Member
Mary Ishisaki, a native San Franciscan, was raised in Woodside, CA., and San Francisco. She attended Harlowe School of Real Estate in San Francisco. She worked for Investment Properties before going to work at I. Magnin & Co. Later, she and her husband, Ben Ishisaki, owned and operated Ishi Limousine, Inc. in San Francisco.
Since retiring in 1991, Mary has volunteered at Kimochi, Inc., a nonprofit senior service agency in Japantown and has served on Kimochi’s Board since 2001. In 2011, she was invited to be a member of the SFPD Asian & Pacific Islander Forum and currently serves as the Board Treasurer of the Japantown Community Benefit District.
Diane Matsuda, Board Member
Diane Matsuda currently serves as President of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPIC). Her priority on the HPC is to encourage and involve a more inclusive community of stakeholders so that under recognized peoples and communities can be highlighted and respected for their historic and cultural contributions to the City. She also serves as a Staff Attorney for the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach; Board Member of the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, and Advisory Committee Member of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.
Lindsay Nakano, Board Member
Lindsay Nakano produces the 5 o’clock newscast for ABC7 News in San Francisco. She is a fourth generation Japanese American and Bay Area Native. Through both her personal and professional career she has found success and happiness in helping to amplify the voices and stories of those less often highlighted in the mainstream media; including those of the Japanese American Community.
Kathy Nelsen, Board Member
Kathy Nelsen opened her first spa, Miracle Baths, in 1977 in a former Baptist church on Fillmore Street in San Francisco near Japantown. Years later she immersed herself in Japanese culture when she was the director of Kabuki Springs & Spa, a Legacy business in San Francisco, from 1998-2022. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Japantown Parking Garage Corporation and currently serves as the Board Secretary of the Japantown Community Benefit District. Observing and learning about Japanese bathing culture and Japanese American history has been a driving force in her community work.
Allen M. Okamoto, Board Member
Allen M. Okamoto is Owner-Broker of T. Okamoto & Co., the oldest and largest Japanese American real estate agency in San Francisco. Originally founded in 1946 by Allen’s father, Takeo Okamoto, T. Okamoto & Co. has grown into the pre-eminent source of information on real estate needs for the Japanese American community.
Allen is active in the community and his current civic responsibilities include Chairman of the Asian Real Estate Association of America 2006 and 2007 and Director Emeritus; Co-Chairman of the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Association; Vice President of the Nihonmachi Parking Corporation; President of Sakura Matsuri Inc.; Board member of the California Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California, the Chinese Real Estate Association of America, the US Japan Council, the Japan Society of Northern California and a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Japantown Foundation.
Jon Osaki, Board Member
Jon is a native San Franciscan and has served as the Executive Director of the Japanese Community Youth Council since 1996. During Jon’s tenure as Executive Director, JCYC has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most successful child and youth development organizations, annually serving over 6,000 children and youth from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Under Jon’s leadership, JCYC’s programs have received national recognition for achieving out-standing outcomes for young people and the organization is frequently called upon by the City of San Francisco to implement new initiatives for children and youth.
Jon is also an award-winning filmmaker who has directed and produced promotional, educational, narrative, and documentary films. Over the past few years, he has had films screened at film festivals and community events across the country. As a filmmaker, Jon views this genre as the next step in his lifelong pursuit of social justice and equity. His first feature documentary, ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is broadcasting nationwide on PBS stations.
Amit Patel, Board Member
Amit is the General Manager of Hotel Kabuki, a Joie De Vivre Hotel by Hyatt. Hotel Kabuki has a long standing active relationship with the San Francisco Japantown Foundation. Amit is a Bay Area native who has always had a deep fondness for Japantown for its thriving culture and rich history. He has been part of the neighborhood since childhood, and now enjoys sharing his appreciation with his wife and two kids. Amit graduated Cum Laude at University of Houston–Conrad N. Hilton College with a BS in Hotel & Restaurant Management; Business Management. He has dedicated his career to bringing joy to others through impactful hospitality for over 23 years working at a variety of luxury lifestyle and timeless hotels. As a board member, Amit is committed to maintaining and enhancing the spirit of Japantown, and increasing the awareness of this iconic community.
Misako Maki Sack, Board Member
Misako has been with international law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP since 1981, currently as International Business Specialist in its San Francisco office. She is highly experienced in assisting Japanese companies in setting up their first US operations as well as with visa petitions for their transferees. She is also active in the community. She is serving as Executive Director and a Board member of the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Association, as well as a Board member of Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California and Sakura Matsuri, Inc. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, after attending junior and senior high schools in San Francisco, she received a BA degree from Keio University in Tokyo.
Shinichi Seino, Board Member
Shinichi was born in Nanyo, Yamagata, Japan. He worked for the Kinokuniya Bookstores of America from 1974-2014. He has served as the president of the Japantown Merchants Association, chairperson for the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival, and president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce for Northern California. He is an advisor to the Japanese language school, Kinmon Gakuen, and a board member of the Japanese National Library.
Sean Tamura-Sato, Board Member
Sean is the Managing Partner of the San Francisco based law firm Minami Tamaki LLP, where he also leads the firm’s Consumer and Employee Rights Group. Sean serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Legal Aid at Work (formerly the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco) and served on the Boards of Directors of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area from 2017- 2021. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, Sean attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York before moving to San Francisco to attend the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.