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Zentoku Foundation Holds Inaugural Fundraiser

Ray and Pauline Fujino are recognized at the inaugural fundraiser for the Zentoku Foundation on May 4 at Winterburg Presbyterian in Santa Ana.

SANTA ANA — More than 150 attended the first fundraiser for the Zentoku Foundation on May 4 at Wintersburg Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana.

Etsuko Tani, owner of Sakae Sushi; Ray Fujino, founder of the Wintersburg golf tournament; and the late Milton Kanda of Kanda’s Cabinets were recognized and their stories are featured on the Zentoku website.

Mark Nakakihara, Zentoku director and president, said the organization’s mission to gather and write stories is urgent.

“I’ve been involved with various JA organizations for many years. A common objective for these oranizations has been to pass on the traditions of our culture,” Nakakihara said. “These traditions are things that have become a way of life for many of us, but unfortunately, these traditions are slowly being lost as the number of Issei, Nisei and even Sansei are shrinking each day.”

Dancers enjoy music performed by Grateful Crane Ensemble.

Zentoku was founded in 2017 to: (1) collect, preserve and share the little-known true stories within the Japanese American community; (2) encourage today’s journalism professionals and prepare the next generation of storytellers, authors, and journalists; and (3) celebrate and hand down Japanese and Japanese American culture, values, and achievements.

Ellen Endo, who serves as an advisor, debuted a clip of the documentary “Curating the Japanese American Experience,” which will chronicle the history of Japanese Americans through the vernacular newspapers.

Helen Ota, a Zentoku board member, served as emcee. Entertainment was provided by Grateful Crane Ensemble and Minyo Station.

More information is available at

Photos by GWEN MURANAKA/Rafu Shimpo

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