SAN FRANCISCO — The following message is from the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California.


On Tuesday, March 17, with the shelter-in-place order in effect, the doors of the Center closed for the safety of the community. Overnight, Japantown looked like the spring of 1942. Businesses were shut down; church services and community events planned months in advance were canceled; the sounds of a lively community silenced; and the people were gone.

COVID-19 is like nothing we could have ever imagined in our lifetime. However, with so much uncertainty and no apparent end in sight, the one thing we do know, as we did in 1942, is that, although we are apart, we remain a community in spirit.

Even though the shelter-in-place will continue for the next several weeks, the Center will continue to ensure that the community spirit stays alive. We will continue to outreach to our Nisei to ensure that they remain safe and to let them know they are not forgotten. We will continue to send letters, write cards, give them things to do at home and be available to run errands, go shopping and call to say hello.

The Center will utilize social media to celebrate the spirit of our community and continue to share our cultural heritage as though we never closed our doors.

Belonging to a community becomes even more important during the worst of times. It makes us realize how much we need each other. One of the most important aspects of our cultural values is the spirit of hope. It calls us to work together and look out for one another.

From this time forward, we will always look at our lives as pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19. For the next several weeks and months ahead, we really won’t know what the post-COVID-19 world and our community will look like. Much will change. However, our role as the Center will remain the same and even though we are apart, we will continue to be a community in spirit.

Please be safe and take care!


The Center

(415) 567-5505 /

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