HomeJapanese American$4.5 million in funding secured for language school in Japantown
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$4.5 million in funding secured for language school in Japantown

A historic language school in San Francisco’s Japantown is getting the investment it needs.

California Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) announced that $4.5 million of the California budget will be put towards turning Kinmon Gakuen’s auditorium into “a premiere community space.”

Kinmon Gakuen is a Japanese language in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown. It opened in 1911 with 133 students and still offers Japanese language classes to children from 5 to 18 years old today.

According to a press release from Assemblymember Ting, the school also served as a place of general instruction when racism against Japanese students was especially prevalent in the city. In 1942, it became a processing center for Japanese Americans who were

“Japantown residents and their families have endured so much pain since immigrating to San Francisco. We must make it right by investing in their community. Revitalizing a neighborhood asset gives visitors a chance to connect and learn about the area’s history,” said Ting.

Community members thanked Ting for helping to secure the funding to renovate the auditorium.

“We are honored to receive our initial finding from Assemblymember Ting. He recognizes the lack of public resources available to for AAPI communities. Under his leadership, he has secured sorely needed and deserved financial support for our organizations and communities statewide,” Paul Osaki, Executive Director and former student of Kinmon Gakuen, said in a press release.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also offered words of support for the project.

“As someone who grew up just a few blocks away from the Japantown community, I deeply understand that our community is still healing from the painful xenophobia they endured. Through investing in this iconic institute, we are working to preserve, embrace, and celebrate the cultural heritage and accomplishments of the oldest Japantown in America and our Japanese American community to our City and nation,” Breed said in a statement.

Renovations on the auditorium are set to begin within a month.

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