Archives for June 2010

PARTING SHOTS: THE WAYWARD CAREER OF THE G-WORD: ‘G.O.O.K is a four-letter word’

In this day and age of Political Correctness, you seldom hear the G-word uttered in our public or even private conversations. It’s frowned upon at any public discourse, especially among the American-born generations, ever since the Great Awakening of Asian Americans in the 1970s and 1980s. For this FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) immigrant from […]

OBITUARY: Anne Yamasaki

Anne S. Yamasaki, a noted calligrapher and volunteer for several organizations both within and outside of the Japanese American community, passed away from pneumonia on May 16, 2010. She had been battling lung cancer. A volunteer with several community groups and charitable causes, she passed away the day before her 74th birthday at the Pacific […]

Lt. Watada and the Nisei military resisters

The new documentary, “Lt. Watada,” by Academy Award-winning director Freida Lee Mock, does a great job in explaining why U.S. Army First Lt. Ehren Watada refused to deploy to Iraq. Even those who disagree with Watada may come away with a different view of what it means for a soldier to take an oath to […]

Japantown plan timeline ‘on track’ as city allocates new staff

The most recent Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan (BNP) community meeting was held June 16 at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) in San Francisco’s Japantown. The Japantown BNP, a program of the San Francisco Planning Department, aims to create guidelines for the development, improvement and preservation of the historic neighborhood during […]

NEVER TOO LATE: A pillar of community, Isao Fujimoto receives Ph.D. at age 76

Isao Fujimoto is quite possibly one of the most positive community activists you can meet. Both his passion for the community and his humble hope to further the understanding of minority groups are evident, and he has an ever-present smile on his mustached face. At the age of 76, he seems not at all concerned […]

Multicultural group brainstorms memorial idea for tribal history, WWII DOJ camp

BISMARCK, N.D.— The United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) hosted more than 50 people from 15 states to discuss an appropriate memorial commemorating the various World War II Department of Justice (DOJ) camps interwoven with the history of tribal America. The UTTC, the nation’s leading tribal college, was the former site of Fort Lincoln, a World […]

Honoring our ancestors in the Tenrikyo religious tradition

Obon is of course a part of the Buddhist tradition, but it is also a part of the annual calendar for many Japanese because it resonates with something very important to the heart of many Japanese: the idea of paying respects to those who lived before us. The Tenrikyo tradition observes a memorial service twice […]

Southern California Obon season lasts from June through August

LOS ANGELES — Summer is festival season for Buddhists and non-Buddhists in the Japanese American community. There are numerous traditional Buddhist Obon festivals and non-Buddhist Nikkei summer celebrations all over Southern California. Obon is a traditional Buddhist event to honor and express gratitude to one’s ancestors for the gift of life. As a celebration of […]

Eastern Perspective: From Buddhism to journalism and back to Buddhism, Higashi Honganji minister still ‘seeking truth’

Kenneth Tadao Yamada had been a student of Buddhism in the 1980s, until he found his calling in the world of journalism — another form of “truth-seeking,” as he says. A 1980 graduate of UC Berkeley, Yamada weaved through a successful 12-year reporting career that found him writing at some of the country’s most distinguished […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Understanding the queer heritage of Japanese Americans

Back in 2007, not long after I started writing my historical column “The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great” in the Nichi Bei Times, I established an annual tradition of marking LGBT Pride Week with a column on the queer heritage of Japanese Americans. It is a tradition that I am happy to carry over […]

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