The Project

The Japantown Mural Project is a celebration of the vibrancy of San Jose's historic Japantown neighborhood through artworks by 50 local artists. The environment is a barren, undeveloped plot of land that once served as the City of San Jose's Maintenance Yard. Chain-link fencing is now covered with more than 60 large mesh panels of color. It stretches a quarter of a city block along 6th and Jackson Streets in the heart of Japantown.

The subject matter is highly interpretive, including personal and commissioned works, and encompasses a wide variety of mediums and aesthetics. It also includes references to the site's former life; 100 years ago, it was one of San Jose's very first Chinatown settlements known as 'Heinlenville.' A majority of the artists maintain art studios in Japantown, have displayed their artwork in neighborhood galleries, or consider this wonderful place their home.

The Japantown Mural Project is truly representative of its own unique community and will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

Sushi = Family and Friends

Sushi = Family and Friends

by James Nagareda

The Artwork
I love that my photo of sushi was chosen for this project. Although we have so many excellent restaurants in the area, I believe that this photo represents so much more. Like many cultures, food is an essential part to gatherings of "Family and Friends." People always associate some of their fondest memories based upon the good food that they ate. I will always remember eating grandpa's chicken teriyaki and mom's inari sushi at New Years.

James "Jim" Nagareda is the owner of award-winning Nagareda Studio and co-owner of Beard Papas in Cupertino and Nikkei Traditions and Jimbos in Japantown. He attended UC Santa Barbara and SJSU where he holds a BS in Molecular Biology and minor in Genetics. Jim's interest in photography started in high school, then he later worked at camera stores part-time before deciding to open his own studio. He has photographed many people including President Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Lott, Chuck Liddell and Mike Swain. His client list includes Corde Valle Country Club, SJPD, SJ Sports Authority and Kristi Yamaguchi.

Jim has served on the Board of Directors for SJ Japantown Business Association, SJ Taiko, West Valley JACL - Next Generation and as a Founding Board Member for the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley. Currently he is the Project Manager for the San Jose Japantown History Book Project.

Sponsored By

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose · Office of the Consulate General of Japan · Wesley United Methodist Church
Jack's Bar & Lounge · Dr. Stephani Nguyen of Japantown Dental · Kay's Shiseido · Dr. Jerrold Hiura & Lucia Cha

Contemporary Asian Theater Scene · Japantown Neighborhood Association · Union Bank of California · Chris & Minako Tsuji

Japanese American Museum of San Jose · Yu Ai Kai Senior Center · Banana Crepe · Halcrow Partners · Pan Pacific Bank · Alex Alsorady & Darcie Kiyan
Sophie Horiuchi Forrester · Helen Hayashi · Roy & PJ Hirabayashi · Aggie Idemoto · Reiko Iwanaga · Jeanne Katsuro · Tamon Norimoto · Kristin Okimoto
Jeffrey Oldham · John Ristow · Rev. Gerald & Kathy Sakamoto · Victoria Taketa · Leah Toeniskoetter · Joe Yasutake

With Thanks

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose · The City of San Jose Arts Commission · Dr. Jerrold Hiura · The Rast Family
Corinne Okada Takara · Ruth Tunstall-Grant · Cherri Lakey · DJ Ashford
Empire Seven Studios · The Arsenal · Sign-a-Rama of Downtown San Jose

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