Archives for November 2014

OBITUARY: Kuichi Takei

TAKEI, KUICHI, 101, on November 8, 2014 in Sacramento, CA,  died as he had lived, with grace and dignity. He was born in Watsonville, CA on July 28, 1913 to Kisaku Takei and Yasu Okahara, both from Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan. Drafted into the Army prior to WWII, he was removed to the 442/522nd RCT, liberating […]

LET’S TALK: About grief and the holidays 2014

Although it is commonly believed that grieving for a loved one who has passed away may take a year or more to resolve, in reality the grief could well go on for years. The sharpness of the pain of loss may soften with time, but depending on when and how the person died, the grieving […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Kenzo Estate

The story started many years ago, in fact it started with the most popular video game of its time. Remember “Street Fighter?” That video game of the ‘80s well before X-Box or Play Station this or that. When Capcom went public in 1990, that gave the company founder Kenzo Tsujimoto the capital to purchase 3,800 […]

Nikkei teen, said to be Disney’s first biracial lead character, stars in ‘Big Hero 6’

Ryan Potter provides the voice of Hiro Hamada, a young genius-turned-superhero in Disney’s latest animated film “Big Hero 6.” The 19-year-old Potter, whose father is Japanese and mother is Caucasian, plays what he describes as the first biracial main protagonist of a Disney film. Born in Portland, Ore., Potter moved to Tokyo a few months after […]

Postwar adoptees from Japan make connections, share stories in U.S.

LOS ANGELES — Kei LaFleur has a story behind the name she grew up with, and she said that story has given her much to be thankful for. Born in the fall of 1954 to, she believes, a Japanese mother and American father, she was named Keiko and put in the care of the Elizabeth […]

Oldest remaining survivor of Japanese American concentration camps passes away

  Fumiko Nishinaka Hayashida, the oldest living survivor of the first group of Japanese Americans who were taken to concentration camps from Bainbridge at the start of World War II, died Nov. 2, 2014. She was 103. Hayashida became the symbol of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during the war after the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published […]

Rep. Patsy Mink to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama named 19 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including the late Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink, in a White House statement issued Nov. 10. The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor, “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United […]

OBITUARY: Yoneko Omai

OMAI, YONEKO, 88, passed away on Oct. 20, 2014. Born in Tokyo in 1926, she is survived by her husband, Paul Omai, daughter Judy Hamaguchi (Hajime), her beloved grandsons, Greg Hamaguchi, Dan Hamaguchi (Cindy), Tim Hamaguchi, Barry Hamaguchi, and great grandchildren Audrey, James, Maggie. Preceded in death by son Calvin Matsuo in 2011. Yoneko (Hisago no […]

Reinventing an ethnic newspaper as a cultural institution

  While daily newspapers across the country battle for their lives, a scrappy little ethnic newspaper in San Francisco’s Japantown is discovering new ways to survive. It is the Nichi Bei Weekly, and it’s become my poster child for the special role that ethnic news media can play in their communities. The elements of success […]

‘Princess Kaguya’ is the ‘Game of Thrones’ of princess movies

The newest Studio Ghibli movie, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” is unlike any children’s film you’re likely to see this year — or ever. The fact that it has princess in the title, (and that it’s distributed by Disney), might suggest that it’s fun, escapist fare, but anyone familiar with the esteemed animation studio, and […]

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