History of Ginza Chicago
Ginza Holiday found its beginning in 1956. It was at our former temple within the Old Town Triangle several blocks east of this location. The name Ginza seemed appropriate as it is a district in Tokyo known for entertainment. The event serves two purposes; one as a fund raiser to meet the temple expenses and the other as a way of sharing Japanese traditions with the people of the neighborhood.
The first event proceeded with some apprehension as it intended to draw upon the non-Japanese community. Most members harbored unfavorable experiences in the decade preceding. Uprooted from the West Coast to isolated camps, they made their final trek to Chicago on news of jobs and friendlier surroundings. The dread of non-acceptance ran deep.
The optimists among them proved right as fears were totally unwarranted. The good neighbors of Chicago attended in droves. Teriyaki chicken became an instant success. An old family recipe surely helped. To the consternation of a few, it may have eclipsed some of the cultural events.
The opening of our present temple grounds in 1973 gave us more room to expand and to serve the thousands who passed through our gateway. For many, it’s become a yearly must. As coordination passes to the Sansei and Yonsei (third and fourth generation Japanese Americans), maintaining tradition and high quality holds precedence. But the ultimate success of these efforts rests in the knowledge of satisfaction brought to each and every guest.