Archives for March 2010

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Bitter Melon: Is This Edible?

Many moons ago, I felt the same way. In fact, I’ve only acquired a taste for it in the past several months. After that first taste many years ago, with that bracing bitterness that lingered on the palate, I kept my distance. It didn’t help that it looked like a cucumber or squash with a […]

San Jose Japantown’s Sak N’ Sak — Saving the Earth One Bag at a Time

SAN JOSE — Kathy Sakamoto’s trip to the Guggenheim Museum in New York last year was a turning point in her life — it inspired her to start her own business. After viewing a display of tote bags recycled from old city banners at the museum store, Sakamoto teamed with business partner Lydia Uchida-Sakai to […]

Historic Voyage Marked Beginning of 150 Years of U.S.-Japan Relations

Curious Americans gathered in droves to see them. Dressed in robes, their hair in topknots, the Japanese who arrived in San Francisco 150 years ago this month on the Kanrin Maru, the first Japanese ship to visit this country, stunned the Americans they encountered. The fascination was mutual. Members of the Japanese delegation crunched quizzically […]

The Kanrin Maru and JAs

As Japanese Americans, we should know where we came from and how we came to be. The more we learn about what happened 150 years ago, the more we find as Japanese Americans that we are inextricably tied to the world events, the personalities and the legacy of this special occasion. The 1860 mission initiated […]

Manjiro’s Role in Pacific Ties

Though the Kanrin Maru’s arrival from Japan represented the first official visit by Japanese, a young fisherman — who would eventually play a pivotal role in U.S.-Japan relations — made the first voyage to this country. A fisherman from a small village, Nakahama Manjiro was shipwrecked at the age of 14 on Torishima Island. Manjiro […]

LETTERS: Memories of Cypress House, aka JASEB Home

Note: This letter was sent in response to Ben Hamamoto’s “JASEB to Stop Operating Homes for Japanese American Seniors” article, Feb. 4, 2010. Dear Editor, After 20-plus years of operation, the Cypress House has many stories to tell. There must be hundreds. This is one of them. My mother, Hede Takao Shirasawa, was a resident […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Feminist Writer Ishigaki Made Waves

In the decade surrounding World War II, the Japanese-born feminist and activist Ayako Ishigaki lived in the United States, where she distinguished herself as a radical intellectual and outspoken opponent of Japan’s military occupation of Manchuria and China. She joined dockside protests aimed at preventing Japanese ships from landing and transporting cargoes and barnstormed the […]

OBITUARY: Yoshiko Jane “Bubbles” Keikoan

KEIKOAN, YOSHIKO JANE “BUBBLES,” passed away peacefully on March 17, 2010. Bubbles was born on April 10, 1927 in Sacramento to Yoshisuke and Kane Keikoan. She was preceded in death by her sister Dorothy Uratsu, brother Rye Keikoan, niece Sharon (Uratsu) Walden, nephews Michael Keikoan and Patrick Guilday. She is survived by her sister Sumi […]

OBITUARY: Kiyoji “Bill” Yokyama

YOKOYAMA, KIYOJI “BILL,” passed away March 2, 2010 at the age of 94. He was a Landscape Gardener in the Bay Area. He was active in the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, JASEB and Sakura Kai. He is survived by sons Eugene (Careen) and William (Leila), daughter Elaine (Toshio), grandchildren Shani (Carlos), Spencer (Kamika) and Jennifer, great […]

Candidates Announced for Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program

Five young Japanese American women were introduced March 13 as candidates for the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s Queen Program. The event, a highlight of the 43rd annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, will be held on Saturday, April 10, at 6 p.m., (5 p.m. doors) at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema in San Francisco’s Japantown. […]

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