The laundromat mural was painted in 2017 by local San Jose artist Samuel Rodriguez. It is a mural of Sam’s daughter and it is located at Kiem Service Laundromat at 349 East Empire Street in San Jose Japantown. The mural was coordinated by Juan Carlos Araujo and Jennifer Ahn of Empire Seven Studios (E7S). Sam is a self taught artist in San Jose through graffiti art but later he developed a ‘Topographical Portraiture’ and ‘Type Faces’ style and showcases his style in community activities and work. He displays his work at many public art spaces, museums, companies, galleries and in editorial publications.
The Marunouchi Line is a subway line in Tokyo. It’s route is between Ogikubo Station in Suginami-ku in west Tokyo then running eastbound through Shinjuku, after that it runs through Tokyo Station eastbound, it finishes at Ikebukuro Station near the Yamanote Line. The Marunouchi Line was built after the war and was completed in 1954 and was named after the Marunouchi district near Tokyo Station. It is the one the most busiest and crowded of the subway lines in Tokyo and runs both below and above ground. The subway has a unique third-rail electric system and it’s cars are only 18m per car. Recently in early 2019 the new red colored 2000 series trains came into service with lower power consumption and wheelchair and stroller access.
The banner Defund, Demilitarize (Black Lives Matter) was created and raised up by Khalilah Ramirez and her group The Dance of Peace in San Jose on June 9th 2020 in front of San Jose City Hall. Khalilah Ramirez is the creator of performance art called The Dance of Peace and its purpose is to effect inner light, joy, and peacefulness in people. She is an artist, educator, and author based in San Jose and works with groups such as Silicon Valley De-bug, Sangham Arts, and San Jose State University. Khalilah Ramirez and her members Calia Kammer, and Sharat Lin danced in front of San Jose City Hall for their performance. Sharat Lin said the banner’s purpose was for “Peace and love for the community, instead of police brutality and killings” as it relates to the recent George Floyd killing and protests.
Picture of Mayumi and Matsuken (background)
Matsukenpan is a relatively new family run bakery in Soka City, Japan located in Saitama Prefecture. The owners are Matsuken and Mayumi who are husband and wife. Their menu includes: 1. Bread of different types 2. Croissants 3. Koppapan (sandwich). Mayumi was quoted in saying “I’m working hard to become a Matsukenpan loved by everyone.” The address of Matsukenpan is: 2-12-7 Takasago, Soka City, Saitama Kobayashi Building 1F near the Soka train station.
Photograph taken in October 2019
Yanaka and Nezu located in Bunkyo ward in Tokyo is a community where you can see a slower paced life with charm. It’s also less commercialized with the prevalence of family or smaller owned businesses. It is characterized by back alleys, stores, pubs, and well maintained homes. This area survived the firebombing in World War II so you find many older buildings and temples.
You can find Negi Soba 高遠そば in Ouchi-juku 大内宿 in Fukushima Prefecture. It is eaten with a long green onion (negi) instead of chopsticks.
Soba eaten with negi
But very delicious
The Invisible Becomes Visible is a mural created and organized by Edythe Boone a local artist and community activist. The mural, created in 2018, highlights the timeline of South Berkeley from history of the Ohlone Indians, to the internment of Japanese-Americans, the fair housing act, people’s free food program, and protecting Ohlone sacred sites. This project was directed and supported by the Friends of Adeline that originated in 2015 and began by interviewing community members and recording their stories. The mural is located on the corner of Ashby & Ellis across the South Berkeley Senior Center and one block west of Ashby BART.
Friends of Adeline are a diverse group of South Berkeley residents, businesses, and nonprofits working to make Berkeley a more inclusive, and just place for all people. Purpose: 1. We Shall Determine Our Own Future 2. Affordable Housing is A Right 3. Development Must Be Used To Increase The Health Of Our Community 4. South Berkeley Jobs, Businesses, and Nonprofits Should Benefit Existing Residents Of All Income Groups, Backgrounds, and Ages 5. The Arts Are Integral To Our Culture and History As A Community.
This mural at fountain alley in downtown San Jose was painted by Lili Gemellos. Lili is a muralist in San Jose who has painted San Pedro Square, Bank of Italy, and Museum of Modern Art around downtown San Jose. The dripping paint of the mural symbolizes the melting of cultures in San Jose.
Shimokitazawa is a mini town in Setagaya, Tokyo with small and independently owned stores and businesses. There are many vintage shops and second-hand clothing, stylish cafes, small theaters, and unique snacks. One section of Shimokitazawa are decorated by mural artists. The business owners asked artists to draw murals on the shutters to brighten the neighborhood.
Christmas in the Park, a non-profit organization in San Jose, is a yearly holiday tradition consisting of over 40 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights, community decorated trees, and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree. For over 40 years 750,000 people annually visit the holiday decorations from all over the Bay Area and beyond. The history of Christmas in the Park started when Don Lima owner of Lima Family Mortuary in San Jose built a Nativity display in front of his business. Eventually the displays and the crowds grew bigger and bigger so in the 1970s Lima donated the displays to the City of San Jose. Since 2012 Christmas in the Park took full ownership of this event with assistance from the city with paid staff and countless volunteers to make this event a success every year.