Since 1978

History of
Nikkei Matsuri

Since 1978, the Nikkei Matsuri Festival has showcased the contributions and cultural achievements of the Japanese American community. Nikkei Matsuri’s origin began with the City of San Jose’s 1977 Bicentennial Celebration, Issei Legacy, which was an event that coordinated over thirty Japanese American cultural groups and associations. This network of organizations and volunteers established the framework for Nikkei Matsuri Festivals to come.

For the past 45 years, the all-volunteer Nikkei Matsuri Committee has worked “To share and preserve the culture and heritage of the Japanese American traditions through the presentation of food, arts and crafts, performing arts, demonstrations and cultural exhibits in the heart of historic San Jose Japantown.” The Nikkei Matsuri Festival has played host to delegations from San Jose’s Sister City of Okayama, welcomed state and local dignitaries, enjoyed visits from the Northern California Cherry Blossom Court, and hosted Japanese national cultural groups.

Nikkei Matsuri has a proud history with tens of thousands of attendees joining in the festivities. We look forward to continued growth as the next generations participate and preserve the contributions of the Japanese American community.

visual history