Archives for July 2014

A Match for Bay: Eight-year-old Nikkei battles leukemia

While most children play outside this summer, 8-year-old Baylor “Bay” Nihei Fredrickson from Albany, Calif engages in Nerf gun battles with nurses in between chemotherapy rounds.  Baylor, who is of Japanese and German descent, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in February 2012 at 5 years old. According to his mother, Shari Nihei Fredrickson, Baylor […]

OBITUARY: Flora Tomiko Umene

UMENE, FLORA TOMIKO, 84, passed away peacefully on July 11, 2014.  She was born on July 26, 1929 in Sacramento but lived and worked in Richmond for many years. She was predeceased by her husband Shingo Umene. She is survived by daughters Sharon Umene and Nancy (Ernie) Chan, grandchildren Jason and Patti Chan.  She is […]

OBITUARY: Nobuo Kono

  KONO, NOBUO, passed away peacefully July 7, 2014. He is survived by his son, Grant; daughter, Marlene; sister, Hisae Joanna Sakai; and other relatives. As were his wishes, there will be no service. A private service will be held by his family. Donations in his memory can be made to Hospice by the Bay, […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: What a bitter person …

OK, I don’t really consider myself a bitter person. I am a bit of a pessimist and perpetually carry the attitude and assumption that the glass is half empty, but that’s mainly so that when I do recognize when it is indeed half full, I appreciate it all the more. This is probably due to […]

FULL COUNT: The latest on trio of Japanese arms

A week after the All-Star break, three Japanese starting pitchers find themselves in very different situations. Just prior to the All-Star Game, the New York Yankees received the awful news that rookie right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (12-4) has a partially torn elbow ligament and there is no clear timeline for his return.  The Yankees are hopeful […]

Love and (bad) luck: A multigenerational family’s trials

THE THING ABOUT LUCK By Cynthia Kadohata (Chicago: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014, 304 pp., $7.99, paperback) Kouun is “good luck” in Japanese, and one year my family had none of it.  At 12 years old, Summer carries the worries of the family with her as she and her brother spend the harvest season […]

The fruits of Santa Clara Valley’s Asian laborers

GARDEN OF THE WORLD: Asian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California’s Santa Clara Valley By Cecilia M. Tsu (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, 304 pp., $99, hard cover; $29.95 paperback) As Cecilia Tsu tells readers in her cogent introduction, its underlying purpose is “recovering the intertwined history of the Santa Clara Valley (in […]

An intimate look at the life of ‘an American with a Japanese face’

JIM AND JAP CROW: A Cultural History of 1940s Interracial America By Matthew M. Briones (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012, 288 pp., $42, hard cover) It is rare that I find myself reviewing a book on a friend of mine authored by still another friend, but that is the case with Matt Briones’ Charles […]

Noted scholar re-examines landmark Japanese American incarceration cases

THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CASES: The Rule of Law in Time of War By Roger Daniels (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2013, 232 pp., $17.95, paperback) Why another book about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II? We already have a vast library of literature addressing many different facets of this history, almost […]

Nisei revisits her wartime past through watercolors

GASA GASA GIRL GOES TO CAMP: A Nisei Youth behind a World War II Fence By Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2014, 224 pp., $29.95, cloth, $24, eBook) Through a sophisticated blend of artwork, prose and photographic images, plus an assortment of other useful illustrative materials, Lily Yuriko Nakai […]

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