Category Archives: Community Events

Activities occurring around the Nikkei/Japanese Community in Seattle, Washington State, and the Pacific Northwest

2019 Auburn’s Pioneer Cemetery Rededication

Dedication Ceremony and Celebration Event Planned for Auburn’s Historic Pioneer CemeteryCemetery honors early pioneers and Japanese American Families


White River Buddhist Temple, White River Valley Museum, Pioneer Cemetery, City of Auburn, Auburn wa,
Pioneer Cemetery | Photo courtesy City of auburn

The City of Auburn, in partnership with the White River Valley Museum, Mountain View Cemetery, White River Buddhist Temple and Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, is hosting a dedication event at Auburn’s historic Pioneer Cemetery on August 22 from 6-7 p.m. The event will celebrate the restoration projects that have taken place at this important historic site and will include a greeting from Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and an invocation and dedication of the newly restored Tora Kato monument from the White River and Seattle Buddhist temples.

Pioneer Cemetery was officially established in the 1860s and has gone by many names in the past: Faucett Cemetery, the Cemetery at Slaughter, the Japanese Cemetery and the Auburn Pioneer Cemetery. It sits on the busy corner of Auburn Way and 8th Street, but inside its gates is a story of dedication, perseverance, and reverence.

The cemetery has two main sections — early pioneering families and Japanese American families. It is a unique location with a rich history that includes stories of homesteading, immigration and dreams of a better life. In 2016, the cemetery became a King County and City landmark and in 2017 the White River Valley Museum worked with citizen volunteers, officials from the City of Auburn’s Parks, Arts, and Recreation Department, and Hoshide Wanzer Architects to create a master plan for its restoration. Restoration projects completed to-date include new walkways, interpretive signage, a gathering space and the restoration of the Tora Kato monument.

White River Buddhist Temple, White River Valley Museum, Pioneer Cemetery, City of Auburn, Auburn wa,
Looking into Pioneer Cemetery | Photo courtesy City of Auburn

In the late 1930s, a commemorative monument was installed to honor the passing of Tora Kato and her four children whose lives were tragically taken by their father. During the height of anti- Japanese sentiments during WWII the Jizo statues that were attached to the monument were defaced or stolen. Jizo are Japanese Buddhist figures that are traditionally thought of as guardians who assist women and children. One of these statues was returned in the ’80s, leaving three empty spots. In the spring of 2018, three replacement Jizo were imported and installed on the newly stabilized monument.

Pioneer Cemetery restoration projects were made possible with funding from 4Culture, the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, as well as generous contributions from the Japanese American community.

Auburn’s Pioneer Cemetery Honored as Landmark – August 4, 2016!

There are many Kumamoto Kenjin Kai members that are buried at the City of Auburn’s Pioneer Cemetery. This historic site for the Japanese and Japanese American community received Landmark status from the City of Auburn and King County, Washington. Attached is a newsletter from the White River Valley Museum that talks about the Landmark designation and next steps to preserve and protect this important historic property.


2016 Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund Raising – Update

As of 5 May 2016, the Seattle Kumamoto Kenjin Kai is happy to report that the funding raising effort to support the Kumamoto Earthquake Relief and Recovery effort has raised over $41,000! All funds collected by Peace Winds America is being transferred to Peace Winds Japan who is providing direct support to impacted residents of Kumamoto.

Thank you everyone for your generous support and donations provided to Peace Winds Japan!


Calvin J. Terada, President                                                                          Seattle Kumamoto Kenjin Kai

Award Winning Kumamoto Tamana Girls High School Band & Kapowsin High School Wind Ensemble Concert

The Tamana Girls HS Band from Kumamoto (They have competed at the All Japan Band Association’s National Finals 7 time and received a gold medal – champion of Japan – 3 times. They aslo have competed at the All Japan Marching Contest’s National Finals 18 times and received a gold medal -champion of Japan – 14 times) is performing with the Grahama-Kapowsin High School Wind Ensemble led by Paul Bain. Come and witness how those wonderful students communicate thought music. I guarantee that it is going to be a magical Sunday afternoon for you!

2016 Tamana Girls HS Band Concert

2016 Tamana Girls HS Band Concert


Kumamoto Aid from Seattle

Join us on Friday, 3 June 2016 from 12:00 to 1:00PM at the Google Kirkland Campus for the Kumamoto Aid from Seattle benefit concert to raise funds for the Kumamoto Earthquake Relief and Recovery effort. Admission is free and so is parking. All donations will go toward Peace Winds America who will transfer 100% of the donated funds to Peace Winds Japan for earthquake relief.

The Google Kirkland Campus is located at 747 6th Street South, Kirkland, WA 98033.

Click here for more information.


2012 Japanese Cultural and Community Center Tomodachi Award

On March 9, 2012, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington presented the Tomodachi award to the Kenjin Kai Groups in the Seattle area.  The Seattle Kumamoto Kenjin Kai was one of the awardees.

Receiving the award ceremony on behalf of the Kenjin Kai is Calvin Terada, President, Tina Terada-Santos, Vice-President, and Judge Vicki Toyohara Mukai, Board Member.

JCCCW Tomodachi Award

JCCCW Tomodachi Award