Benkyodo: The Last Manju Shop in J-Town will be screening at the 2024 Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which will be held in-person February 22–25; virtually February 26 – March 3. This short documentary film is being presented as part of the Have You Eaten Yet? Shorts Program.
ABOUT THE FILM
Ricky and Bobby Okamura, the current owners of Benkyodo mochi shop, make a difficult decision to close their family business. The Japanese pastry shop, a landmark for Japanese Americans and Asian Americans in the Bay Area, is one of two mochi shops currently open in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently 115 years old, the business has endured the anti-Asian laws of the early 20th century, Japanese incarceration, redevelopment of the 1960s, and San Francisco’s notorious high costs of living. The unsurmountable economic pressure, coupled with the brothers’ desire to preserve their Japanese heritage, family business, and community space, create an age-old conflict many children of diaspora face—preserving their culture or submitting to the economic forces of racial capitalism.
Directed by Akira Boch and Tadashi Nakamura, the former and current directors of JANM’s Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center.
Benkyodo and ATOMIC CAFÉ Discussion and Q&A
September 10, 2023
JANM hosted the Los Angeles Premiere of Benkyodo: The Last Manju Shop in J-Town and a screening of ATOMIC CAFÉ: The Noisiest Corner in J-Town. Director Tadashi Nakamura was joined by Nancy Sekizawa (“Atomic Nancy”) and Eryn Kimura (Producer, Benkyodo: The Last Manju Shop in J-Town) in a conversation moderated by Sean Miura (Producer, Tuesday Night Project).