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SF JACL Japantown History Mural Proposal

Japantown Journey: The Birth of A Community

The mural will honor and celebrate the 115 years of a community’s survival and resilience.

Proposal Summary

The San Francisco Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, working with the artistic team of MissionArt415 will create a mural on the high-traffic exterior wall facing Geary Boulevard at the entrance to the Peace Plaza. 

The historical mural is funded by three generous Trust Funds: Yo Hironaka, Greg Marutani and Frank Minami, who were members of JACL and integral to the preservation of San Francisco Japantown. It is in their names, that SFJACL launched the this proposal. 

The mural will depict the history of SF’s Japantown and artfully create images of persons, places and events that will tell the story of one of the three remaining Japantowns in the U.S. The purpose is to educate and enlighten visitors to the value of diverse communities to our City, and to instill pride and gratitude for the community’s future generations.

Link to UPDATED MURAL PROPOSAL - January 2023

Do you have questions about the Mural Proposal?

To contact us for more information

Project Summary

Support The Mural

We appreciate your support. Please click on the button below to sign our petition of support.

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The Team

It takes a collective heart to build something great

SF JACL Board of Directors:

Judy Hamaguchi

David Takashima

Emily Murase

Merry Nishimura

Elena Nielsen

Artists Team

Lisa Brewer, CEO MissionArt415, Project Manager

Randolph Bowes, Founder, MissionArt415, Graphic Designer/Engineer

Rigel “Crayone” Juratovac, Master Artist

Wes “Marks” Wong, Artist, Interactive design



Ben Kobashigawa - Professor Emeritis, SF State University - Bio

Darcy E. Nishi - Bio

Kenji Taguma, Nichi Bei Foundation - Bio

Rosalyn Tonai, National Japanese American Historical Society - Bio

Video Documentarian

Greg Viloria, Monks Media Works

Minutes & Recordings


Upcoming Mural Related Meetings and Events

Look here for upcoming meetings

No events at the moment


Nomination Process for Portraits to be included on Japantown History Mural


The SF JACL established the following criteria for portrait nominees:


1. Established and built San Francisco Japantown and who have made significant contributions

to continue to build and preserve it; or


2. Advanced our diverse stories and history through education, the arts and culture; or


3. Played a leadership role in social justice and civil rights issues


Each criterion should have a significant connection to San Francisco Japantown.


Nominations closed at midnight on December 31, 2022 and the initial list is located below. The initial list contained 73 names, including individuals both living and deceased. In reviewing nominations, the SFJACL board determined that, to be considered further, candidates should only include deceased individuals. Nominations were posted on the website in advance of the January 12 community meeting. At the conclusion of that meeting, 27 semifinalists were announced. The list of finalists will be posted to the SFJACL website and in the Nichi Bei weekly newspaper.

To see the Semifinal list of nominees, please see our post here.


Nominations for the Mural images

The Mural will honor persons who made a lasting difference in the survival and vitality of our community.  They are persons whose determination to build Japantown in the face of exclusion and racism helped to preserve our history and culture, and whose activism, trailblazing and vision continue to guide us today. 


Victor Abe

Kyutaro Abiko

Yona Abiko

Jeff Adachi

Hatsuro  Aizawa

Shichinosuke Asano

Ruth Asawa

Masao Ashizawa

Helen Cooke Jones

Steven Doi

Jimbo Edwards

Dianne Fukami

Nobusuke Fukuda

Robert Hamaguchi

Michiya Hanayagi

George Hibi

HIsako Hibi

James Hirabayashi

Hikoroku & Suwa Honnami

Howard Imazeki

Hisako Inouye

Archbishop Nitten Ishida

Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Ichiro Kataoka

Steven Katayama

Saburo Kido

Kathleen Kimura

Tsuyako "Sox" Kitashima

Toshi Koba

Major Masasuke Kobayashi

Greg Marutani

Shizue, Linda, Vicky, Dad Mihara

Janice Mirikitani

Sandy Mori

Susan Muranishi

Kenji Murase

June-ko Nakagawa

Benh Nakajo


Steve Nakajo

Nichi Bei Kai

Chiura Obata

Kathleen "Kay* & Takeo Okamoto

Bobby & Ricky Okamura

Guy Ono

Michi Onuma

Wayne Osaki

Jon Osaki

Fujima Rokushige

Robert & Others Sakai

Tomatra Scott

Michael  Sera

Shin Sekai

Wes Senzaki

Iwao Shimizu

Charles Sullivan

Tomoye & Henry Takahashi

Seiichi Tanaka

Yoshiro Taniguchi

George Togasaki

Kazue Togasaki

Yoshiye Togasaki

Taro "Tom" Tsukahara

Edison Uno

Clifford Uyeda

Yori Wada

James Wakasa

Lloyd Wake

Peter Kenichi Yamamoto

Lawrence Toshimichi Yamamoto

George Yamasaki

Minoru Yamasaki

Janice Yanehiro

Hatsuye “Hatsy” and Hisao “Moses” Yasukochi Yasukochi

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