SAN FRANCISCO — Artist, curator and activist Bob Hanamura died Jan. 6 at his San Francisco apartment. He was 96.

Bob Hanamura

A Facebook page, “Remembering Bob Hanamura,” has been established by long-time friend Paul Kagawa, who wrote: “He lived a life dedicated to art and music, friends and community …

“We’re working on a recounting of his fascinating life, including being sent to a relocation camp in Topaz, Utah during WWII; a stint with the army Counter Intelligence Corps in Japan; working with architects and artists in Detroit, where he ran his own modern art gallery in the 1960s; coming back to San Francisco in the ’70s, where he was gallery director for the S.F. Art Commission and curated shows at various locations around town.

“Bob was an enthusiastic jazz lover too, and could often be seen at Bird and Beckett and other music venues.

“He volunteered at the [National] Japanese American Historical Society in Japantown and was a strong supporter of the community there.

“Bob always said he knew me before I was born, having been good friends with both my parents. He seemed to show up at every turn in my life. He was a big influence in how my sister, brother and I all got involved in the arts. I’m honored to have known him.”

Those who knew Hanamura are asked to post photos and remembrances at:


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  1. I knew Bob in Detroit and later in Ann Arbor. He was excellent at being a friend!

  2. I didn’t know Mr. Hanamura, but I often heard about him from my friend Joel Silvers who predeceased Robert at the age of 71. Joel visited Mr. Hanamura in San Francisco and knew him well at Wayne State University. I miss my Dear Friend Joel and his discussions about his friend Bob Hanamura.