Nichi Bei Staff

Editorial Staff

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Kenji G. Taguma

Award-winning journalist Kenji G. Taguma is a Sansei or third-generation Japanese American born in Sacramento, raised in the countryside of West Sacramento and currently residing in San Francisco, Calif. He earned his B.A. in ethnic studies (Asian American concentration) and minor in Japanese at California State University, Sacramento, and attended graduate school in ethnic studies at San Francisco State University. He is a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics and Oakland Raiders who adopted the hometown Sacramento Kings along the way.

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Heather Horiuchi
Managing Editor

Heather Horiuchi is a Yonsei, born and raised in Honolulu. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s degree in print journalism from American University.

Tomo Hirai
Staff Writer

Tomo Hirai is a Shin-Nisei Japanese American lesbian trans woman born in San Francisco and raised in Walnut Creek, Calif., where she continues to reside. She attended the San Francisco Japanese Hoshuko (supplementary school) through high school and graduated from the University of California, Davis with degrees in Communications and Japanese, along with a minor in writing. She serves as a diversity consultant for table top games and comic books in her spare time.

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Derek Tahara
Staff Writer

Derek Tahara is a Yonsei or fourth-generation Japanese American born and raised in Sunnyvale, Calif. He earned his B.S. in Journalism at the University of Oregon. He is a lifelong fan of the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants.

Business Staff

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Edith “Edie” Horner, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Edie Horner is a Sansei who was born and raised in San Francisco. She earned a B.S. in Physiology from the University of California at Davis, a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a Master of Taxation from Bentley College.

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Kota Morikawa
Advertising Manager

Kota Morikawa is a Japanese-speaking Shin-Issei born and raised in Tokyo. He came to the United States to study English for a year, but fate found his way to stay and live in the United States for the past 24 years. He earned his B.A. in journalism at San Francisco State University and is currently a Japanese Language teacher for San Francisco Japanese Language School, aka Hoshuko. He’s also an engaging father of two and a badminton player, who still competes occasionally.  

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Wesley Nihei
Membership Coordinator

Wes Nihei is a Sansei Japanese American born in Berkeley, California, raised in Nihonmachi (J-Town. San Francisco), and currently residing in San Francisco. He earned his B.A. in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His first job as a kid was delivering the Nichi Bei Shimbun and the Hokubei Mainichi. He’s also the former editor-in-chief of GamePro, a video game magazine.

Programs Staff

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Ryan Yamamoto
Office Manager / Programs

Ryan is a Japanese/Korean American born in Santa Monica, CA. He graduated with a B.A. in Asian American Studies and a minor in Music from San Francisco State University. Ryan currently works as the Office Manager/Programs Coordinator for the Nichi Bei Foundation. His hobbies include cooking, listening to music and playing chess.

Jill Shiraki
Educational Programs

Jill Shiraki has coordinated several Nichi Bei Foundation public programs, including its Films of Remembrance, pilgrimages and Author Series. She is currently the Education Coordinator at J-Sei and has helped coordinate dozens of public programs for various nonprofit organizations over the years, including as project manager of Preserving California’s Japantowns (

Nichi Bei Café Staff

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Greg Viloria
Video Producer

Greg Viloria is a native San Franciscan. He earned his BS in Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology from Cogswell Polytechnical College and a Master’s in Organization and Leadership studies from the University of San Francisco. After spending many years in Silicon Valley, and startups, he found his recent passion doing documentaries and videos for the SF Japantown community, Nichi Bei News, and Nichi Bei Cafe documenting the Japanese American lifestyle.

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Max Nihei
Associate Video Producer

Max H. Nihei is a third/fourth-generation Japanese American born and raised in San Francisco. He has a B.A. in history from UCLA and a master’s in Museum Studies from the University of San Francisco. He is a freelance art installer and video editor. His hobbies include building gaming PCs and cooking.

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Reina Sango
Marketing, Video Editor

Reina Sango is a marketing intern, born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and came to San Francisco in 2018 to study. She has a BA in Cinema at San Francisco State University.