Carolyn Kogura has been busy procuring new stock to affix the cabinets of Maneki-neko cat statues, Japanese print bowls and shows of origami folding paper units. A plexiglass defend goes up on the money register subsequent to the hand sanitizer and the COVID-19 protocols are posted on the window.

Kogura Co. Presents is able to reopen Sunday after being closed for almost eight months due to the pandemic. Kogura says she by no means had a doubt that the reward retailer in San Jose’s Japantown would reopen. In spite of everything, she has a 92-year-old legacy to uphold.

Bob Kumamoto, left, Carolyn Kogura, heart, and Richard Kogura photographed Oct. 30, 2020, nside the shop opened by their grandfather, Kohei Kogura, in San Jose’s Japantown in 1928. 

“You stroll by means of these doorways, and that is the one place you’ll see in Japantown that appears the identical because it did previous to World Conflict II,” stated Richard Kogura, Carolyn’s brother.

Their grandfather, Kohei Kogura, opened the shop in 1928, and it has remained in household arms ever since. The inventory has modified over time — at one level, radios had been the massive vendor, and there’s a Nineteen Thirties classic RCA Victor “Magic Eye” radio in a single nook of the store with a proper black-and-white framed {photograph} of the household from the identical period resting on it.

Richard Kogura and Bob Kumamoto, his cousin and a retired historical past professor at San Jose State, each credit score the enterprise’ longevity to not solely their household however San Jose lawyer J.B. Peckham, who helped Japanese households return to their properties and companies after their internment throughout World Conflict II.

Like John Heinlen, the German immigrant farmer who used his close by land to determine the Heinlenville Chinatown from which Japantown grew, Peckham confronted scorn from San Jose residents for doing the proper factor. They trusted him with their lands and belongings, and he gave them again after the battle.

The Kogura and Kumamoto households are betting huge on the way forward for Japantown. They personal the brick constructing subsequent door, believed to be the oldest in Japantown relationship to 1890, and are beginning a restoration plan with Backyard Metropolis Building’s Jim Salata. He’s additionally engaged on refurbishing Kogura Co.’s classic neon signal on Jackson Avenue, which has gone by means of a number of modifications over the a long time and might be altered once more within the coming months. The phrase “Oriental Arts” might be changed by “Established 1928,” each a nod to the enterprise’ legacy and an understanding of the fashionable sensibilities that frown on the once-common description of Asians.

Richard Kogura stated he hopes the reopening brings extra exercise to Japantown, which has been slowly coming again over the previous few months. “Individuals are excited,” he stated. “As soon as we open up, there might be extra retailers for folks to stroll into.”

‘OLD TIMES’ WITH OLD FRIENDS: Bear in mind these superstar Zoom bombs that occurred on the Los Altos Stage Firm board conferences this summer season? It truly become a fairly particular occasion for the Peninsula theater group going down Nov. 8.

Theater, movie and TV stars Polly Draper, Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub will carry out a livestreamed studying of Harold Pinter’s “Previous Instances,” a play a couple of married couple being visited by his spouse’s outdated roommate — and their very sophisticated interrelationships. Apparently, Adams and Shalhoub are married, and Draper is an longtime good friend good friend of each.

“All of us love the play, and it’s an ideal match for the three of us,” Draper stated in a launch, noting that she and Shalhoub met and carried out a scene from the play whereas attending the Yale Faculty of Drama. She additionally met and carried out with Adams in an area Connecticut manufacturing throughout that point, and the three have been buddies for 40 years. Draper can also be buddies with Los Altos Stage Firm board member Vivian Lufkin, which obtained this complete ball rolling to start with.

Tickets to the 5 p.m. livestream studying are $50 per family, and a restricted variety of VIP tickets can be found for $750 that embrace entry to a digital post-show reception with the actors, together with a wine-and-cheese basket delivered to your private home. Get extra particulars at

FASHIONABLE FUNDRAISER: NBC Bay Space “Right this moment within the Bay” co-anchor Laura Garcia will emcee a digital occasion Nov. 12 for the Grand View League, the fundraising arm of the American Most cancers Society, to lift funds for most cancers analysis. She’ll be joined by a trio of most cancers researchers, together with two which have acquired funding from the Grand View League Analysis Funding Initiative.

Along with the analysis dialogue, the 4 p.m. occasion, “Design & Discovery,” additionally will function an interactive trend “look ebook,” on-line procuring boutiques (together with Susie O’s Purses, Social Butterflies LA and Moonlite Couture) and a silent public sale. Get extra particulars at

WALKING TALL: This week’s huge applause goes to Blake Mosher, a 22-year-old Morgan Hill resident, who’s participating this weekend within the digital Juvenile Diabetes Analysis Basis (JDRF) One Stroll. The duty he’s challenged himself with is strolling 70 miles in 24 hours beginning at dawn on Saturday alongside the Bay Ridge Path from Skyline Ridge Protect to the Golden Gate Bridge.

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