43rd Nihonmachi Street Fair in S.F. Japantown

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The Nihonmachi Street Fair (NSF) considers itself the original “melting pot” of street fairs, with many aspects of Asian Pacific American life — and San Francisco’s cultural life — expressed through performance, tradition, art, music, food, and community outreach and service.

It is continually evolving to reflect the city it celebrates while staying true to its original idea: to use this event as a platform to mentor Asian Pacific American youths and foster their leadership and communication skills through volunteerism and community service. The fair is produced, staffed, and organized by volunteers, thus providing practical, hands-on experience in collaboration, entrepreneurship, and problem-solving.

This year’s highlights include:

• Art & Soul of J-Town (Aug. 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.), a new feature whose goal is to bring together and showcase the many Asian artists in diverse APA communities. Last year, NSF honored and remembered the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bombings. Artist Leon Sun created a painting on site, while Peter Yamamoto recited his poetry. This year, the Art & Soul of J-Town will commemorate the 110th anniversary of San Francisco’s Japantown, one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States, a cultural hub that bridges the old and new, and home to many businesses and nonprofit organizations.

• Asian Artisan Area has welcomed a wide variety of artistic talent from all over the Bay Area and beyond. Many of the artisans, including Waka Ozawa, Pomegranate Designs, Kayoko Designs, Creative Accents and Fabrications, have been participating at NSF for over 2