Yoshie Akiba (b. 1942) is the namesake and one of the founders of the jazz club, Yoshi's.
Akiba was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1942, and she was orphaned at age 5. The orphanage she grew up in was near a U.S. military base, where she learned to dance. A proposal at age 19 from a U.S. officer took her to the east coast of the United States. The marriage failed, and she moved to Berkeley, where she continued to study dance. 1
There she met Kaz Kajimura, and along with a 3rd partner, opened Yoshi's, a Japanese restaurant in 1972. They soon moved the restaurant to Claremont Avenue in Oakland, and started booking live music in 1985. 1
Yoshi's has moved to a larger location in Jack London Square, but Akiba still lives not far from the Claremont Ave. location.
Links and References
- Yoshie Akiba: The woman behind famous Bay Area jazz club Yoshi’s San Jose Mercury News August 24, 2012
- Meet Yoshie Akiba, the woman behind iconic jazz club Yoshi’s East Bay Times March 18, 2017