Japantown’s esteemed mochi shop Benkyodo, located in San Francisco, may allegedly close down due to the owners’ retirements.
About the shop: Benkyodo, Japantown’s oldest business located at 1747 Buchanan Street, was opened in 1906 by Suyeichi Okamura, according to SF Gate.
- Okamura named the shop after the word Benkyodo, meaning “affordable,” to “let their community know their confections wouldn’t price them out.”
- The current owners are Okamura’s grandsons Ricky and Bobby.
- Since 1990, the two brothers have shaped more than a thousand balls a day.
Reasons for shutdown: The Okamura brothers announced their retirement to KQED in a recent interview.
- The brothers stated that this “is not easy work” but serving the community has made them happy and they’re “glad that people enjoy what we make.”
- KQED reported that they are looking for potential buyers but their “strong preference” would be selling the business to a family member. If they’re not able to find a buyer, they’ll have to close the shop down.
- Kawahatsu, a Japantown tour guide says the shutdown would be a “huge loss to the Bay Area’s Japanese American community” because “no other place compares to its delicious confections or its rich history and legacy.”
Featured Image via Nichi Bei Foundation