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NLF Sushi Social/43rd Anniversary Celebration

SAN FRANCISCO – Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF) will celebrate its 43rd anniversary with its ever-popular Sushi Social on Friday, Nov. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at its expanded 1830 Sutter St. facility in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown.

The evening will feature a wine-tasting by local winemaker Jason Mikami of Mikami Vineyards and special recognition of Augie Phillips, NLF board member and parent of NLF alumni.

Back by popular demand, guests will also be treated to a musical performance by Nihonmachi “Big Friends,” led by Dr. Anthony Brown with Mark Izu, Masaru Koga, and Shoko Hikage, as well as an assortment of delectable sushi prepared by chefs from We Be Sushi.

NLF launched the “Plant A Seed” Campaign in 2012 to build a preschool addition, which, along with the historic 1830 Sutter “Issei Women’s Building,” is the permanent home for its preschool programs. The addition increases the programs’ maximum capacity from 80 to 91 children, and features a rooftop playground comprising climbing walls, a sandbox, block building area, and a children’s garden.

“Augie really led the work from turning our ideas into a dream playground and garden,” says Yuji Uchida, site manager at NLF. “The children can touch, smell, feel… the more you give them, the more they learn,” he said.

The preschool addition opened its doors in May 2017, and the response from the preschoolers, their families and the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We are excited and happy to finally have our preschool programs and administration in one combined facility,” stated NLF Executive Director Cathy Inamasu. “NLF helps build the Japantown community because it weaves families and children into the fabric of this historic neighborhood. Celebrating 43 years, it’s gratifying to continue to be an integral part of the community.”

Fundraising for the new facility is continuing. Naming opportunities are still available starting at $1,000, with recognition on donor boards prominently displayed in the new building’s lobby. Information on ways to help NLF reach its goal can be found at its website,

Once a single preschool with 15 children, NLF has grown into a premier childcare center serving over 200 children annually with ages ranging from 3-12 years. Over 3,000 children have attended NLF since it was founded in 1975. Its award-winning Japanese bilingual and multicultural programs attract a broad range of families from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Suggested donation is $125 per person. To make reservations, contact NLF at (415) 922-8898 or All proceeds from the evening will benefit NLF’s programs and its Building Fund. This event is made possible with the support of Union Bank and Wells Fargo.

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