California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...

Project Team


Donna Graves has nearly twenty years experience developing public history projects throughout California that document and interpret our state’s diverse history. Most recently, she served as Project Director for the City of Richmond’s Rosie the Riveter Memorial, and worked with the City and National Park Service to initiate, plan and implement the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, which includes an interpretive exhibit about the experience of local Japanese Americans and Italian Americans. READ MORE.


Jill Shiraki has been working with the non-profit community over the past 15 years in the areas of cultural and arts program development, community outreach/organizing, and project management. Most recently, she served as Project Director for the California Nisei High School Diploma Project, providing statewide educational and community outreach on Assembly Bill 781. READ MORE.

PROJECT DIRECTOR (May 2005 - January 2007)

Gail Dubrow is Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost at the University of Minnesota. For the past two decades, Dubrow has led numerous projects documenting historic sites and buildings for the National Park Service as well as state and local government. READ MORE.

Expert Advisory Committee

Eiichiro Azuma
Professor, Asian American History, University of Pennsylvania

William Deverell
Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

Anthea Hartig
Director, Western Office- National Trust for Historic Preservation

Lane Hirabayashi
Professor of Japanese Internment, Redress, and Community, UCLA

Akemi Kikumura
Senior Vice President, Japanese American National Museum

Valerie Matsumoto
Associate Professor, Dept of History, UCLA

Lynne Nakata
Interpretive Specialist, National Park Service Western Region

Gary Okihiro
Professor, International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Ted Whipple
Website design

Ben Pease

Bill Sugaya
Preservation Planner

PHOTO ABOVE: Berkeley's Nisei Babes basketball team, 1938, Private Collection


California Japanese American Community Leadership Council (CJACLC)

is the leading state organization helping to preserve and bring new recognition to the three remaining historic Japantowns in California, located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. CJACLC was established in 1998 through a grant from the Sumitomo Global Foundation to organize and coordinate statewide issues concerning the Japanese American community. CJACLC is the sponsoring organizations for Preserving California Japantowns.

CJACLC Project Oversight Committee

comprised of CJACLC members and regional representatives, will provide support, direction, and serve as community advocates for Preserving California’s Japantowns.

Alan Nishio, Chair
Chris Aihara
Jerry Hiura
Paul Osaki
Vernon Yoshioka
Donna Ishii

CJACLC Council Members

Kaz Maniwa, Chair
Japanese Cultural & Community Center
of Northern California

Irene Hirano, Executive Director and President
Japanese American National Museum

Bill Watanabe, Corporate Secretary
Little Tokyo Service Center

Laura Takeuchi, Treasurer
Japanese American Services of the East Bay

Chris Aihara
Japanese American Cultural and
Community Center

Wayne Doiguchi
Japanese American Chamber of
Commerce of Silicon Valley

Sam Fujii
Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai

Charles Igawa
California Association of Japanese
Language Schools

Dale Ikeda
Fresno Regional Representative

Margaret Iwanaga-Penrose
Union of Pan-Asian Communities

Glenn Kawafuji
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics

Steve Nakajo
Kimochi, Inc.

Alan Nishio
Historic Preservation Commmittee Chair

Jon Osaki
Japanese Community Youth Council

Paul Osaki
Japanese Culturual & Community Center
of Northern California

Miyoko Miko Sawamura
Sacramento Regional Representative

Kristy Shimosaka/Amy Phillips
Youth Representative

Brian Takeda
Nikkei Federation

John Tateishi
National JACL