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.

Raw Material

Raw Material

by Abraham Menor

The Artwork
Matthew Rodriguez, of Pops Fabrication, is holding a raw “Ping” bicycle frame he fabricated and built himself.

Abraham Menor is a community organizer/worker and photographer based in San Jose, California. Menor graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University at Hayward. When he is not working as a “at-risk” youth worker, he is armed with his camera, ready to capture the next fleeting moment. His love for the camera began in the 90’s. His subject matter was initially graffiti. Menor sought to document the culture surrounding such an art form. Shortly, thereafter, he developed a passion to document his daily interactions, with people, places, and things. Menor’s goal is to tell stories using his camera.

With a background in sociology and a love for photography, Menor realized that he can combine the two together. The result is photography that analyzes and examines human social behavior and society. In the past he has documented various social and political movements. Menor also documents Hip Hop culture and different sub-cultures of the streets. These two cultures have greatly influenced the manner in which Menor captures and documents an image. As a participant and observer, Menor is able to capture moments that are fresh and raw yet honest and real.

Cultural Relevance
Japantown is a home to Phil Wood & Company and Pops Fabrication, two influential bicycle/parts manufacturers.

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

site by rasteroids design