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In Memory of Dr. Jerry Hiura, Co-founder of CATS

Dr. Jerrold Hiura, universally known as Dr. Jerry, passed away on Dec. 26. Although his life might have seemed to be a dichotomy – technical and scientific dentist who exhibited artistic achievements in poetry, art, and music – Dr. Jerry’s eclectic personality blended his two sides well. In doing so, he left a legacy of philanthropy, cultural support and dental and artistic mentorship. Also, many of San Jose’s distinguished citizens and elected officials appreciated his role as their dentist/advisor.

Jerry’s list of service were numerous and impressive: appointments to the California Arts Commission (vice chair) and the San Jose Arts Commission, on boards such as the San Jose Museum of Art and the Japantown Community Congress, director of the Sixth Street Mural project, programs at San Jose Jazz Festival and San Jose State University, and, most significantly, co-founder of Contemporary Asian Theatre Scene (CATS).

When he, with Steve Yamaguma and Miki Hirabayashi, founded CATS, they envisioned and accomplished its mission to provide platforms for Asian American artists of various media. CATS has presented playwrights workshops, Asian Comedy Nights (Hasan Minhaj, Ali Wong on their ways up!), play readings, film festivals, and live performances.

Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest is CATS’ latest iteration and, at a screening, Jerry was surprised with two awards: a Commendation from the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, signed by all city council members, and the Image Hero Award from SVAPFF/CATS. Numerous other acknowledgments had preceded these honors, but his wife, Lucia Cha, noted that he was especially moved by these – coming from dear and dedicated friends of the San Jose cultural community and his CATS cohorts.

Jerry and Lucia have been strong advocates and generous financial supporters of many institutions and activities. In recognition of this commitment, CATS announced that “our cultural efforts will continue to be dedicated to the lifetime work and in memory of its co-founder, Dr. Jerry Hiura.”

– Reiko Iwanaga, CATS board member

If you would like to share your favorite memories of Dr. Jerry Hiura, please click this link:

Below is a video of Jerry accepting the 2019 Hero Image Award.

Next up from CATS

Friday-Sunday, November 1-3, 2019

5th Annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest

Sunday, September 1, 2019

American Bon Dancing: In Joy and Remembrance

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Presents:

American Bon Dancing: In Joy and Remembrance

An Afternoon of Obon Songs, Dances & Stories Celebrating Rev. Yoshio Iwanaga’s introduction of Bon Dancing in the continental US 88 years ago

Sunday, September 1, 2019 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Yerba Buena Gardens - Esplanade Mission Street between 3rd & 4th Streets San Francisco, CA

Sunday, August 18, 2019

World Film Premiere: KIKAN - The Homecoming

Set in the 1940s, the film follows Japanese American soldier Jimmy Ibata of the 442nd RCT as he makes a life-changing journey from the battlefields of Europe to San Francisco to fulfill a wartime promise. 

The film stars Ryan Takemiya (Valley of the Heart), Anna Sun, Ken Takeda, Chizu Omori (Rabbit in the Moon) and Hiroshi Kashiwagi (Hilo Hatta, Black Rain).

When: Sunday August 18

Where: New People Cinema in San Francisco's Japantown.

Time(s): Shows are at 2pm and 4pm.

Tickets are $12 in advance at or $15 at the door. There's more information on their website:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

An Afternoon with Culinary Icon, Cecilia Chang

Our friends, AREAA (Asian American Real Estate Association of America) of Silicon Valley is presenting a FREE event, An Afternoon with Culinary Icon Cecilia Chang.

When: August 13th

Time: 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Where: De Anza College

Please register here to attend:

June 29, 2019




Celebrate Kollaboration SF 10th anniversary with their annual Showcase. These Showcases features outstanding AAPI talents.

WHEN: June 29th, 2019



David Brower Center

2150 Allston Way

Berkeley, CA

Order your tickets here:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Diane Fukami, Matthew Abaya, Rick Quan and Jon Osaki

Meet the Film panelists on June 26th from 7pm-9pm at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose @jamsjofficial! Register here:

Dianne Fukami, Director/Co-Producer, Mineta Legacy Project

Matthew Abaya , Filmmaker, Vampariah

Rick Quan, Television Anchor, Mayor Ed Lee

Jon Osaki, Filmmaker, Alternative Facts

This event is in partnership with CATS, Kollaboration SF and the National Association of Asian American Professionals!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


A Panel Discussion

Please attend "TELLING OUR STORIES THROUGH INDEPENDENT FILM: A Panel Discussion". Hear and meet our outstanding panelists; Diane Fukami, Matthew Abaya, Jon Osaki, Rick Quan, and Moderator, Stephen Chun. Reserve your seat here: 

May 11-12, 2019


We are proud to announce the following films that we are co-presenting at CAAMFEST 2019

Gold Thread

When: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time: 12:10 PM

Where: New People Cinemas

If you love food, you will enjoy this film, Gold Thread, a selection of videos celebrating Chinese food and the people who make it. This line up is aimed at inspiring deeper thought about the food we eat, what we consider foreign, and how our lives are shaped by mom’s cooking. Gold Thread is a team of video makers and journalists based in Hong Kong. They are on a mission to cover China through stories of people, culture, and cuisine.

Click here to find more details of this film and to order tickets.

The Dragon Painter

When: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time: 2:30 PM

Where: New People Cinemas

One of the first Asian American films in history, THE DRAGON PAINTER is a dreamy and surreal romance that broke new ground in Hollywood. Starring legendary actor Sessue Hayakawa, the film continues to woo audiences with its stunning visuals and masterful storytelling. Join us for this special screening with a live score by Japanese American singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura.

Click here to find more details of this film and to order tickets.

The Magpies of Seoul

When: Sunday, May 12, 2019

Time: 3:30 PM

Where: AMC Kabuki 8

Dan Lee (from the rock band Scrabbel) premieres a dynamic, new live music performance based on the Korean fairytale, Chilseok. The Magpies of Seoul is about two childhood friends who get separated by the Korean War, Lee’s interpretation of the traditional story. The live performance will feature a mix of indie rock and traditional Korean drumming.

Click here to find more details of this film and to order tickets.

April 27, 2019

ALTERNATIVE FACTS - The Lies of Executive Order 9066

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is a one-hour documentary feature film about the false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. The documentary will examine the parallels to the current climate of fear, attitudes towards immigrant communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.

San Jose Premiere

April 27th, 2019 - 1pm

Wesley United Methodist Church

566 N 5th Street, San Jose

Presale: $10 JAMsj members/$13 nonmembers

Day of showing: $15 everyone

Buy tickets at the JAMsj Museum Store

Open Thursday to Sunday - 12pm to 4pm

Please call 408.294.3138 or email [email protected] for questions.

March 10 - 31, 2019




Sunday March 10, 2019 1:00 - 5:00 PM Exhibit Opening CHCP Speaker Series Presentation: - Book Talk by Tim Myers, Children's Author: "Yao Bai and the Egg Pirates" - Video: "The Canton Army in the High Sierras" - Talk by Phil Sexton , CA State Park Interpreter/Historian, Park Manager: "Conquering Time and Space: How Chinese Labor Helped Put the United States In Motion" - Reception/Artists' Meet-and-Greet For more info/updates:

Art Exhibition: March 10-31, 2019

Location: MILPITAS LIBRARY AUDITORIUM, 160 N Main St., Milpitas, CA 95035

Multiple showings from March 8 - March 16, 2019

Last Sunrise

A future reliant on solar energy falls into chaos after the sun disappears, forcing a reclusive astronomer and his bubbly neighbor out of the city in search of light in the perpetual darkness.

Order your tickets: click here

Saturday March 16, 2019


An epic film by Zhang Yimou. With Chinese action and suspense to be shown at Cinequest. Saturday, March 16th @ 6:45 PM at the California Theater.

Order your tickets: click here


Set during China's Three Kingdom's era (AD 220-280). The story of a great king and his people, who will be expelled from their homeland and will aspire to claim it. The king, violent and ambitious, of mysterious methods and motives; his general, a visionary who yearns to win the final battle but needs to prepare his plans in secret; the women of the palace, who struggle to find redemption in a world where they have no place; and a commoner called "Lord of all the world", will be the characters around who turn the inexorable forces of this story.

Tell your friends!

We will be celebrating our 5th year!

November 1 - 3, 2019