Yu-Ai Kai

Yu-Ai Kai / Japanese-American Community Senior Service of San Jose has been serving seniors and their families and caregivers in the heart of San Jose’s Japantown since 1974.

Our mission is to promote healthy aging, successful independent living, and advocate for all seniors, while embracing Japanese American tradition. Yu-Ai Kai has evolved and expanded from a handful of all-volunteer programs to a paid staff of over 30 employees delivering social services, senior day services, nutritious and healthy hot lunches, educational and fitness classes, and programs and activities to promote healthy aging for over 3,000 seniors in our two facilities. Our vision is to be a leader in empowering seniors to age well and thrive.

The name “Yu-Ai Kai” translates to “Organization for Friendship and Love” and reflects the loving concern of the local Japanese American community for its seniors. Supported by a multi-generational board of directors and community and business organizations in and around Japantown, we strive to bring seniors and others together to engage in intergenerational and intercultural sharing, love and friendship.

Our Nikkei Matsuri Connection
Yu-Ai Kai’s annual Nihonmachi Run has been held on the morning of the Nikkei Matsuri Festival since it’s inception in the ’80's, drawing runners, walkers and volunteers of all ages to Japantown in time to enjoy the wonderful food, cultural performances, and arts/craft sales after completing the Run. Although we were unable to hold the physical run in 2020 due to the pandemic, and plans for 2021 are still uncertain, we look forward to an “after-time” when we can once again align and leverage the synergy between these two community-based events.

Our organization also has two arts and craft classes that participate in the festival by hosting a booth filled with many wonderful handmade items. These items vary from something as small as needlepoint coaster all the way up to afghans and quilts. These volunteer crafters spend a good part of each creating these "One of a kind" items to fill the booths, and hopefully make there way to filling peoples hearts and homes.