Archives for July 2015

OBITUARY: Kayoko Sato

SATO, KAYOKO, 76, a longtime resident of San Francisco, CA, passed away at her home on July 10, 2015. She was very well known as Masazuka Sato, a koto master, and enjoyed teaching her students as well as volunteering for numerous community events. Kayoko was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1939 and came to San […]

Mikawaya, Little Tokyo manju-ya and creator of mochi ice cream, sold

LOS ANGELES — Mikawaya, the iconic 105-year-old Japanese confectionary maker known for creating the popular Mochi Ice Cream, has been sold to a private equity firm, Century Park Capital Partners. Mikawaya is a multi-million-dollar business that specializes in wagashi (Japanese pastries) and is mainly known for its Mochi Ice Cream, which is sold and distributed […]

‘Urban Samurai’: One atomic bomb survivor’s journey to forgiveness

At the age of 8, Takashi Thomas Tanemori lost most of his family in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. His mother and his 14-month-old sister were never found. His eldest sister and father succumbed to radiation poisoning less than a month after the blast. Their deaths left Tanemori, his two older sisters and his younger […]

San Jose Japantown ‘stand(s)on giants’ shoulders

SAN JOSE JAPANTOWN: A JOURNEY By Curt Fukuda and Ralph M. Pearce (San Jose: Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 2014, 470 pp., $65.25, hardcover) While perusing this beautiful and bountiful 470-page tome affording its lucky readers a temporal, spatial, and sociocultural journey relative to San Jose’s Japantown, I reflected upon my personal journey regarding […]

‘Powerful’ telling of U.S. camp history

INFAMY: THE SHOCKING STORY OF THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN INTERNMENT IN WORLD WAR II By Richard Reeves (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2015, 368 pp., $32, hardcover, $18, paperback, $16.99, e-book) “I had wanted to write this book for a long time for the simplest of reasons: to answer the question, ‘How could this have happened […]

‘Consequential’ and ‘transformative’ study of Crystal City’s WWII incarceration

THE TRAIN TO CRYSTAL CITY: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp during World War II By Jan Jarboe Russell (New York: Scribner, 2015, 416 pp., $30, hardcover, $14.99 e-book) During World War II there existed eight Department of Justice-administered internment camps. Three states had a single facility: Montana (Fort Missoula […]

‘Mashi’ Murakami’s ‘meteoric rise’ in Japan and the U.S. in the mid-century

MASHI: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer By Robert Fitts (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2015, 256 pp., $28.95, hardcover) The San Francisco Giants’ Japanese Heritage Night at AT&T Park in late May of this year honored Norichika Aoki and Travis Ishikawa, two Japanese and Japanese American baseball […]

Looking onward from the year of infamy

Accomplished jazz musician and composer Anthony Brown will debut his “life’s work to date” in remembrance of both the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Sunday, Aug. 2 in San Francisco’s Japantown. Brown, founder of Fifth Stream Music, composed “1945: Year of Infamy.” Unlike his 1995 instrumental piece, “Never […]

A taste of home

JAPANESE SOUL COOKING: RAMEN, TONKATSU, TEMPURA, AND MORE FROM THE STREETS AND KITCHENS OF TOKYO AND BEYOND By Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat (Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed Press, 2013, 256 pp., $27.50, hardcover) Even if you didn’t grow up eating okonomiyaki (pancake) or omu (omelette) rice, the savory, robust flavors in “Japanese Soul Cooking” will […]

Comfort food, Hawai‘i-style

FROM KAU KAU TO CUISINE: AN ISLAND COOKBOOK, THEN AND NOW By Arnold Hiura; featuring Derek Kurisu and Jason Takemura (Honolulu: Watermark Publishing, 2013, 196 pp., $29.95, hardcover) “From Kau Kau to Cuisine” is a cookbook that alternates recipes representing two variations of the same dish, a “Then” version and a “Now” version. The styles […]

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