SAN FRANCISCO — On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 2 to 5 p.m., the Japanese Cultural and Community Center (JCCCNC), 1840 Sutter St. in Japantown, will host its 10th-anniversary celebration of “Tabemasho” in-person after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

This year’s theme, “The Joy of Matsuri,” will feature artisans, ranchers and makers directly from Oshu, Japan, the hometown of MLB star Shohei Ohtani.

“2022 marks a special anniversary for ‘Tabemasho’ in our Nisei Community Hall-Gymnasium,” said Executive Director Paul Osaki. “Hosting this event virtually the past two years only illuminated how special in-person gatherings really are, so we are ready to make this one of our best celebrations yet.”

Guests will be treated to an afternoon of matsuri (festival) style food and fine goods from Japan, including wagyu, sake, senbei and cast-iron producers who are coming from Iwate Prefecture, in the northeastern region of Honshu.

Representatives from award-winning Ogata Ranch, one of the largest producers of Maesawa beef in Japan, will bring their exquisite style of wagyu, famed for its supple and marbled texture that cuts like butter. Its richness and unique tastes have earned it the moniker “toro of the land.”

Sake producers Oshu No Ryu (Dragon of Oshu) will pour four varietals, including junmai daiginjo, junmai ginjo and tokubetsu junmai, made from a special strain of rice grown by local farmers in the cooler climate of Iwate.

Family business Mizusawa Beika/Senya will showcase their flavorful miso negi (green onion) senbei, which pays homage to the superior miso produced in the Tohoku region. Senya’s senbei is often sold out in local and national stores across Japan.

Master cast-iron maker Tsutomu Toda will teach attendees about the Nanbu style of cast-iron cookware made specifically in Oshu and the health benefits of using cast iron to prepare meals and tea.

Alongside the guests of honor from Japan, several Bay Area restaurants and family businesses will be serving specialty dishes, including B. Patisserie, Delica, Hikari Farms, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, Menya Kanemaru, Paina, Trifecta Cooks, Suruki Market and Takahashi Market. Additional festival foods like yakitori, takoyaki, shave ice and three varieties of musubi will be prepared by community chefs.

This year’s sweepstakes raffle prizes include two round-trip tickets to Japan on Japan Airlines, a Hawaii trip for two on Hawaiian Airlines, and two nights at the Prince Waikiki and a $1,000 Airbnb gift card. An online auction featuring an array of travel excursions, unique items from the Center staff, exclusive wine from the Center Board and Bay Area experiences will open to bidders starting Sept. 5. To top off the auction, two round-trip tickets to Japan on Japan Airlines and reservations to the Center’s Japan Culture Tour to Tohoku in March will be auctioned live during the event.

“The Joy of Matsuri” is presented by Union Bank and The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation. Tickets start at $175 per person for reserved table seating. Table sponsorships are available at the Presenting, Benefactor, Patron, Friend of the Center and Community Sponsor levels. Deadline to RSVP is Wednesday September 7, 2022. To reserve a seat or table. Call (415) 567-5505 or visit

Envisioned by the Japanese American community, JCCCNC will be an everlasting foundation of Japanese American ancestry, cultural heritage, histories and traditions. The JCCCNC strives to meet the evolving needs of the Japanese American community through programs, affordable services and facility usage.

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