SAN FRANCISCO – Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF) will celebrate the agency’s 45th anniversary on Friday, Nov. 20, from 7 to 7:30 p.m. with a virtual program.

The evening will highlight 1830 Sutter’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places as well as NLF’s preschool and after-school programs in action during the pandemic.

Back by popular demand, participants will also enjoy musical entertainment by Nihonmachi “Big Friends,” led by Dr. Anthony Brown. In lieu of the annual Sushi Social gathering, guests are encouraged to order a special Sushi Bento Box from We Be Sushi, who has partnered with NLF for the last few years and has graciously agreed to donate 25 percent of the proceeds to NLF. To place an order, go to NLF’s website ( and click on the invitation link.

Designed by famed architect Julia Morgan, 1830 Sutter, also known as the Issei Women’s Building, was built in 1932 as the Japanese YWCA, offering temporary housing and cultural and social activities for young women and girls.

NLF completed its $2.2 million capital campaign to fund the purchase and renovation of the Sutter Street building in 2009. The building was entrusted to NLF as part of an out-of-court settlement of a community-supported lawsuit to save the building.

The Sutter site was placed in the National Register earlier this year, and the recognition “promotes the building’s unique history and cultural significance,” stated NLF Executive Director Cathy Inamasu.

NLF launched the “Plant a Seed” Campaign in 2012 to build a preschool addition, which, along with the historic facility, is the permanent home for its preschool programs and administrative offices. The addition opened its doors in 2017.

To keep its families and staff safe during this current pandemic; NLF is currently operating at 50 percent capacity in its preschool, and 35 percent capacity at its after-school program.

“Our community is the backbone of our organization, and although we can’t enjoy our usual gathering over sushi, we look forward to celebrating this important milestone in the history of NLF and our building,” noted Inamasu.

NLF continues to raise capital funds for the new facility as well as preservation funds for the maintenance and preservation of the historic site. Naming opportunities are available starting at $1,000, with recognition on donor boards prominently displayed in the new building’s lobby. Information on ways to help NLF reach its goal can be found at its website,

Once a single preschool with 15 children, NLF has grown into a premier educational childcare organization serving over 200 children annually with ages ranging from 3-12 years. Over 3,500 children have attended NLF since 1975. Its award-winning Japanese bilingual and multicultural programs attract a broad range of families from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Event tickets are available at $25 per person. To make reservations, contact NLF at (415) 922-8898 or

All event proceeds will benefit NLF’s programs during the pandemic and its Building Fund. This event is made possible with the generous support of Union Bank and Wells Fargo.

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