The Nisei Week Foundation is pleased to recognize Anzen Hardware, Tanaka Farms, Toyo Miyatake Studio, and U.S. Bank (formerly Union Bank) with the Frances K. Hashimoto Community Service Award.
This award recognizes organizations for their outstanding contributions to the Southern California Japanese American community. The annual Awards Dinner was held on Aug. 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Little Tokyo.
Also recognized at the Awards Dinner were this year’s grand marshal, Bill Watanabe; parade marshal, CrossFit athlete and former USC basketball player Jamie Hagiya; Inspiration Award recipients Don Tahara and Kristin Fukushima; and President’s Award recipient (posthumous) Cathy Tanaka.
About Anzen Hardware
Anzen Hardware has been a lifelong passion for owner Norihiko Takatani. The general hardware store was opened in 1946 by Tsutomu Maehara on First Street, one block from its current location in Little Tokyo.
Despite his many endeavors, Nori has remained deeply dedicated to Anzen Hardware. He enjoys meeting people from all walks of life who visit the store. He also appreciates Little Tokyo for the dedication and support the community provides. As he says, “We look out and take care of each other.”
And, while he would love to continue working, at 85 years old, Nori realizes he is slowing down. He is grateful to his wife, five children, and nine grandchildren for letting him build a life in Little Tokyo.
About Tanaka Farms
Tanaka Farms produces strawberries, tomatoes, and various other produce for wholesale and is a leader in agri-tourism, including school educational field trips and the families that come out on the weekends to pick strawberries, watermelons and pumpkins. Produce is sold directly to the public at the produce stand and their CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program.
The farm has also become a community center of sorts as the OCO Club holds many of their activities there, such as the annual Halloween party. OCO’s two biggest events are:
• Walk the Farm, which raises funds for the farms in Japan that were affected by the earthquake/tsunami in 2011. At one point the event attracted over 600 volunteers from 30 different JA organizations from the Southland and raised over $1 million for the farmers in Japan.
• The annual Mochitsuki Taikai, which promotes a kagami mochi making contest that involves over 35 different organizations. Over 2,500 people come to be a part of this New Year’s celebration.
Tanaka Farms has become a mainstay of the community. During COVID when the stay-at-home order came into effect, the farm created a drive-through produce stand where people could come and shop while staying in their vehicles. The farm became a destination spot for some much-needed relief and to get fresh produce.
About Toyo Miyatake Studios
Photographer Toyo Miyatake started his studio in 1923 in Little Tokyo. Along with other businesses in Little Tokyo, the studio created the Nisei Week event to attract the local community and make them aware of the business community they had developed.
The Miyatake family was among the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II and the family business was forced to close. TMS reopened along with many JA businesses in the Little Tokyo district and helped reopen Nisei Week in 1949.
Toyo Miyatake Studio is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023 by photographing four generations of families in Southern California.
About U.S. Bancorp (formerly Union Bank)
U.S. Bancorp, with approximately 77,000 employees and $682 billion in assets as of March 31, 2023, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association. The Minneapolis-based company serves millions of customers locally, nationally and globally through a diversified mix of businesses: Consumer and Business Banking; Payment Services; Corporate & Commercial Banking; and Wealth Management and Investment Services.
Union Bank, consisting primarily of retail banking branches on the West Coast, joined U.S. Bancorp in 2022. U.S. Bancorp has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, social responsibility, and customer service, including being named one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies.
The Nisei Week Japanese Festival is a nine-day event first held in 1934 and is recognized today as one of the longest-running ethnic festivals in the U.S. This event will take place in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district from Aug. 12-20. For a calendar of events, visit www.NiseiWeek.org, call the Nisei Week Foundation office at (213) 687-7193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Nisei Week office is located at 244 S. San Pedro St., Suite 303, Los Angeles, CA 90012.