About Nikkei
Matsuri Foundation

The Nikkei Matsuri Foundation is a registered nonprofit public benefit charity organized under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Founded in 1978, our mission is “To perpetuate the Japanese American experiences, cultural customs, and traditions.”

We do this in part by hosting the annual Nikkei Matsuri Festival in San Jose Japantown, providing a forum for sharing cultural exhibits and performances as well as opportunities for many community-based charities to raise funds through cultural food-based sales in the ever-popular Food Court.

Additionally, through our partnership with the City of San Jose and the Friends of the Japanese Friendship Garden, we are the official Adopt-a-Park sponsors of the Japanese Friendship Garden located on Senter Road in San Jose.

Moschel Kadokura

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation President and Festival Food Chair

I have been involved with Nikkei Matsuri since its inception in 1978 as a cultural performer and food booth volunteer. Throughout the past 45 years, I have participated in different capacities. In 2016, I joined the Committee and later the Board to ensure that Nikkei Matsuri’s mission of sharing the Japanese American culture and experience continues. I think of my dad, (late) Minoru Yamate, the first chairperson of this festival, and how he loved to volunteer in the Japantown community. My husband, Keith, and I have four grown children and are active members of the San Jose Buddhist Betsuin.

James Nagareda

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Vice President

My first memories of Nikkei Matsuri were standing on my parent's building and taking overall photos of the festival. A few years later, I helped WVJACL and Next Generation with their spam food booth on the street. Today, Nikkei Matsuri remains one of the most important festivals in Japantown!

Ruth Shikada

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Secretary and Festival Community Chair

After years of attending Nikkei Matsuri, this year I am serving as the Foundation Board Secretary and am on the Festival Planning Committee. I was involved in numerous mostly youth-related organizations in San Jose Japantown for more than 15 years. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and support the organizations and community that connects us to each other and to future generations.

Diane Fujioka

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Treasurer and Festival Committee Member

I am the current Nikkei Matsuri Foundation treasurer. I first became involved through the San Jose Betsuin Buddhist Women’s Association as the food group organization in 2014. I became NM treasurer in 2017 following former treasurer, Kathy Linderman. I love this festival because it celebrates the Japanese American community and showcases our rich culture for everyone to enjoy!

Lesly Yamatake

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Board Member and Festival Chair

I am currently the Festival Chair and a foundation board member. However, I’m most active with the Construction/Deconstruction committee for the festival. (My favorite part of the festival…driving the forklift!). I grew up attending this festival, chairing a food booth in high school, and ~25 years later, striving to keep it going for others to enjoy as well.

Neal Kodama

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Board Member and Festival Construction Chair

I am current a board member of Nikkei Matsuri Foundation and the Chair of Construction/Deconstruction for the festival. I have been involved in Nikkei Matsuri for many years from my involvement in the San Jose Buddhist Judo Club. Seeing the community and all the different organizations come together to put on one of the most fascinating cultural festivals in the Bay Area is what keeps me excited.

Derek Fujikawa

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Board Member

I am currently a board member and have been involved with Nikkei Matsuri since I was a Cub Scout with Pack 611. I continued to be involved all the way through high school, then returned when my son started up in scouts. It is great to see this tradition live on for so long and to evolve with the times. I am excited to have a bigger part in it going forward.

June Yasuhara

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Board Member & Festival Marketing Chair

I was asked to take photos of Nikkei Matsuri in 2010 and have been shooting the festival ever since. In 2016, I joined as PR and Marketing representative and am currently a Nikkei Matsuri Board member. In 2021, I had to take a year off, but am excited to be back for the 2022 year to experience all the new additions to the festival as well as catching up with the participants of the past years. I’m so proud to be a part of keeping the festival alive for the future generations.

Kelli Saito Martines

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Board Member and Festival Committee Member (Marketing)

Thankful to have grown up as a part of the Japantown community, it has been wonderful to join the Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Board this year. Reconnecting with friends and community members, representing Wesley UMC, and the opportunity to support cultural events and traditions locally has been a privilege.

Nhat Nguyen

Nikkei Matsuri Webmaster and Festival Committee Member

Nhat Nguyen, the web developer for Nikkei Matsuri, is like a digital pied piper, leading people out of their internet burrows and into the real world of fun and excitement.

Janet Yamada

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member and Artisan Chair

Hi there! I'm Janet Yamada, a finance professional with a passion for giving back to my community. I graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in finance. When I'm not crunching numbers, I love giving back to my community. I'm a proud member of the San Jose Japantown community and I'm thrilled to be serving as a committee member for the Nikkei Matsuri Festival. I'm a passionate runner and healthy living enthusiast. Let's chat finance, running, or life!

Jeri Antonio

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member and Program Chair

I am one of the program chairs for Nikkei Matsuri 2023. It is a privilege to be a part of sharing the diverse talents and treasures of the Japanese community with everyone. I've been involved with various organizations (CYS, the Buddhist church, Girl Scouts, Suzume no Gakko, Lotus preschool, etc.) throughout my life. As my late father used to say, "Give back to the community that gave you so much," and he was right... It is a special place that I'm proud to share with others.

Kimi Nakajima

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member (Social Media)

This will be my second year being a part of Nikkei Matsuri's social media team. I grew up in San Jose Japantown and have loved coming to festivals like Nikkei Matsuri since I was young. I'm excited to continue sharing more about Japanese American culture through Nikkei Matsuri.

Tyler Onishi

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member (Social Media)

I am one of this year's Nikkei Matsuri Social Media committee members. San Jose Japantown and events like Nikkei Matsuri have always been a big part of my life, so I wanted to help give back and spread awareness of all the great new stuff that's going on at this year's festival.

Sydney Fujioka

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member (Social Media)

I am one of the Nikkei Matsuri social media committee members. I have attended Nikkei Matsuri for as long as I can remember! I'm so excited to share the culture and traditions of our community through this festival.

Naomi Takata Shepherd

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member

I am an artist and small business owner with a passion for creating work that focuses on intersectional and inclusive themes. Since 2015, I’ve been an artisan at Nikkei Matsuri–it means a lot to me to be a part of the community through all of the San Jose Japantown events that my business “pops up” at. I’m excited to be a part of the Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee as my way of giving back to the community!

Libby Morimoto

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member and Grant Chair

I am excited to join the Nikkei Matsuri committee as the grant writer. I grew up attending the Nikkei Matsuri festival and am happy to play a role in continuing this incredible celebration of Japanese culture and arts.

Jane Kawasaki

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member and Yu Ai Kai Liaison

Longtime volunteer and current Board President at Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center in Japantown San Jose. Also a member of the Japantown Community Congress of San Jose (JCCsj) board. Yu-Ai Kai's annual Japantown Run joins with the Nikkei Matsuri Festival to celebrate and support the Japanese American culture and community.

Michelle Tanaka

Nikkei Matsuri Planning Committee Member and Yu Ai Kai Liaison

I'm a volunteer and current Board co-Vice President at Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center. This is my 2nd year coordinating Yu-Ai Kai's annual Japantown Fun Run/Walk and I'm looking forward to partnering again with the Nikkei Matsuri Festival to celebrate and support the Japanese American culture and community.


Warren Hayashi

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Advisor

During the City of San Jose’s Bi-Centennial Celebration, Wesley United Methodist Church was involved with a Food Booth, and thus was the beginning of my association with Nikkei Matsuri for the past four decades. In the first year of Nikkei Matsuri, Wesley continued with a “Tempura” food booth and this led to my helping on the committee.

Jimi Yamaichi, the first president of Nikkei Matsuri decided to step down as the leader and asked me if I would continue in his place in 1987 for the Tenth Annual Nikkei Matsuri. Following my association, I have witnessed the community growth, change and always promoting the Mission Statement of Nikkei Matsuri. I proudly resigned my position in 2020 and agreed to continue as an advisor.

Norman Tanaka

Nikkei Matsuri Foundation Advisor

I have been a part of Nikkei Matsuri as an artisan since 2015 and I'm happy to be volunteering with Nikkei Matsuri for a second festival season! Getting to spend time with friends, family, and community at Nikkei Matsuri makes it one of my favorite times of the year!