Wednesday, September 18, 2019
An active, caring community for seniors



Over twenty years ago, members of the Japanese American community in San Francisco wanted to augment the culturally sensitive services available to older Japanese Americans. With dedication, determination and heart, the Kokoro community was born. Our community promotes a combination of caring for the heart, mind and inner spirit while providing seniors with physical and emotional assistance and enabling them to live independently within a Japanese cultural setting.

The corner in Japantown chosen for Kokoro is rich with sentimental and historical value. The Sokoji Buddhist Temple served as a spiritual center and a social, meeting hall in the Japanese community. While in Internment Camps during World War II, members continued to make payments on the temple and it was reopened to the community in 1948.

The temple has been restored for the Kokoro community and it will remain a special place for social gatherings and continue to foster an active spirit and communal energy. We look forward to community members joining our Kokoro residents and their families as we participate together in the vibrant heart of the Japantown community.

Our vision is to promote and enhance the independence and security of older adults; to nourish the body, mind and spirit while caring for seniors in our community in a way that provides warmth and a sense of culture and family. With the temple as an intricate part of Kokoro, our mission is to maintain the pride of the Japanese community as we honor the past, embrace today and put faith in the future.

The Pine Methodist Church formed a committee in 1990 known as the Japanese American Skilled Nursing Home Project Committee to augment the culturally sensitive services available to older adults. The committee found that Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) preferred to remain in their homes for as long as possible and that there was a strong need for in-home services. In 1995, the committee joined with the Japanese American Religious Federation (JARF) to form the JARF Senior Housing Task Force. After extensive research, the task force changed its focus to assisted living. In 1996, JARF Senior Housing Task Force bid for the ability to develop a piece of land on the corner of Bush and Laguna Street in San Francisco's Japantown. They won the bid and purchased the land for one dollar. In order to move to the next stage of financing, construction and management of the project, a separate corporate entity was created, to be known as the Japanese American Religious Federation Assisted Living, Inc. (JALFI). JALFI named the project, "Kokoro," a Japanese term that communicates the combined notions of heart, mind and inner spirit as it reflects the true vision of the project. Today, Kokoro Assisted Living Inc. (KALI) a non profit organization provides governance through a Board of Directors and Kokoro is managed by NCP Senior Ventures, LLC who is responsible for all operations.


Meet the Kokoro Staff

It is an honor and a privilege to be greeting you as the Executive Director of Kokoro.  The heart of the Japanese community is engrained in the Kokoro philosophy, and it gives me great pleasure to be part of Kokoro.   We welcome your inquiries and look forward to the opportunity to be of assistance.  Please visit Kokoro.  My staff and I are anxious to welcome you as one of our new residents.... 'okaerinasai.'

Naoko Jones, Executive Director     

Tel: (415) 776-8066 ext. 12  Email:njones@koroassistedliving.org

Jimmy Murota, Director, Sales and Marketing

Tel: (415) 776-8066 ext. 11  Email: jmurota@kokoroassistedliving.org

Rebecca Herrera, Director, Resident Services

Tel: (415) 776-8066 ext. 16  Email: rherrera@kokoroassistedliving.org

Grace Fujimoto, Director, Activity Services 

Tel: (415) 776-8066 ext. 15  Email:  gfujimoto@kokoroassistedliving.org

Vera Yamamoto, Director, Dining & Housekeeping Services

Tel: (415) 776-8066 ext. 13  Email: vyamamoto@kokoroassistedliving.org


Board of Directors

John Kikuchi, President
Sharon Yow, Vice President
Chulssang Ham, Treasurer
Robert Ohana
John Muranishi
Steven Suda
Paul Takayama
Brian Morrow
Bryan Yagi