Soy and Tofu Festival Set for June 7 at Japantown

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The fourth annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival will be held on Saturday, June 7, 2014, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza and Buchanan Mall, Post at Buchanan streets. It will feature various soy-related vendors, free samples, live performances, audience participation games and a Soy and Tofu Dessert Competition. Returning this year will be a children’s activity area and nonprofit information booths in the expanded area in the Buchanan Mall. Co-emcees are former NBC Bay Area reporter George Kiriyama and KTVU-TV reporter Jana Katsuyama.

“This festival is essentially a tribute to the almighty soybean, truly one of the most versatile food products in Asian culture, if not the world,” said Kenji G. Taguma, president of the Nichi Bei Foundation and co-chair of the Festival. “We’re excited about creating a fun venue to celebrate the joy of soy and learn about the benefits of soy and tofu, and at the same time raising critical funds to support our community-serving mission.”

While the Festival is free and open to the public, proceeds from sponsorships, vendors, some food sales and a raffle help the Nichi Bei Foundation continue to publish the Nichi Bei Weekly — the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country — and its corresponding Website, The Foundation also presents educational programming such as films and authors.

Food vendors include Kikkoman, Hodo Soy Beanery, San Jose Tofu, Nakayoshi Café, SoyJoy, InfiniTea and the food trucks Naked Chorizo and The Chairman Truck. The Festival will also introduce to San Francisco the original Ramen Burger, a culinary sensation originated in New York that will partner with the JapaCurry food truck. The Festival will also feature popular mascots like Tofu Panda.

Major sponsors include Kikkoman, the San Francisco Japantown Foundation, California Bank & Trust and Union Bank, as well as community-based organizations, businesses and individuals. Media Sponsors include NBC Bay Area, KTSF-TV, the Nichi Bei Weekly, MYX TV, Korea Times, Philippine News and J Weekly.

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About the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly
As the historic Nichi Bei Times board of directors decided to close the newspaper after 63 years in September of 2009, a group of Nichi Bei Times

staff and contributing writers, media professionals and community leaders set out to rebuild in the pioneering spirit of Japanese immigrants. They established the Nichi Bei Foundation, an educational and charitable nonprofit organization, as a means to support community organizations, shed light on community issues and document the community’s history. Just one week after the last edition of the Nichi Bei Times rolled off the presses, the very first edition of the Nichi Bei Weekly was published as the first nonprofit ethnic newspaper of its kind in the country. The Nichi Bei Foundation also organizes an annual Films of Remembrance event, screening films related to the forced relocation and incarceration of the Japanese American community during World War II, as well as an Author Series.

Born in one of the worst economic climates in decades, with virtually no seed money, the pioneering rebirth of the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly has become one of the most inspired community movements in recent memory. Inspired by a community-serving historical legacy dating back to the Nichi Bei Shimbun in 1899, the Nichi Bei Foundation and the Nichi Bei Weekly have a simple yet profound mission: to keep the community connected, informed and empowered.

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