SAN JOSE — Japantown San Jose is celebrating its 125th anniversary with two concerts on Saturday, Aug. 15, and Saturday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m.

sj jtown 125thBoth events honor two men and families who stepped forward to assist the Asian communities of San Jose at critical moments in history.

The first (in chronological order), John Heinlen, was the benefactor whose efforts to build a new place for Chinatown San Jose from the ashes of the twice displaced Chinese community just 10 days after the last Chinatown was burned to the ground in 1887.

The second is JB Peckham, whose legal actions helped immigrant Asian families through the days of the Oriental Exclusion Acts by assisting in land ownership and care all the way through World War II.

The Aug. 15 concert will feature the Chidori Band, formed in 1953, who will collaborate with world-renowned San Jose Taiko, kotoist Shirley Muramoto, and Japanese dance instructor/performer Reiko Iwanaga (Hanayagi Reimichi). Atendees are encouraged to wear summer yukata or happi.

This concert will be held at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Annex, 640 N. 5th St. (near Jackson).

The Sept. 12 concert will feature the WUMC Jazz Band, WUMC Ukulele Band, and Halau Na Wai Ola.

This concert will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 N. 5th St. (near Jackson).

Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door if available; $25 for both events; $10 for seniors 65 and older; free for kids 12 and under.

Tickets are available at local Japantown retailers: Headliners, Kogura Company, Biscuits, and the Sunday Farmer’s Market.

To order online:

For more information on San Jose Japantown, visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *