Arts & Entertainment

Playing hostess to a foreign culture

TURNING JAPANESE: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR Written and illustrated by MariNaomi  (Minneapolis, Minn.: 2dcloud, 2016, 228 pp., $24.95, hard cover) MariNaomi shares her own journey of self-discovery of her ethnic roots in “Turning Japanese.” Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she illustrates her time spent as a hostess in a restaurant and bar in San […]

Secret ingredient to spice up drama

IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET By Misa Sugiura (New York: HarperCollins, 2017, 400 pp., $17.99, hard cover) Secrets are hard to discuss in the open, especially when layered deep in teenage drama. For Sana Kiyohara,  those secrets come in the form of her sexual orientation, her suspicion of her father having a mistress and […]

82-year-old DJ puts unique spin on Tokyo’s club scene

TOKYO — Sumiko Iwamuro knows a thing or two about juggling work. She spends her days behind the counter at a family-run specialty gyoza dumpling restaurant and nights once or twice a month moonlighting under her stage name DJ Sumirock. It is an impressive feat for someone 82 years old, although she insists otherwise. At […]

THE EVOLUTION OF G YAMAZAWA: From Buddhism in the South, spoken word to hip-hop

Poet and rapper George Yamazawa, Jr. — known by his stage name G Yamazawa — performed at the Nichi Bei Foundation’s seventh annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival in San Francisco June 17. Prior to his performance, the 26-year-old native of Durham, N.C. took a few moments to talk about his life and work. […]

Japanese dance teacher who brought joy to WWII inmates remains active at 99

LOS ANGELES — Fujima Kansuma, the legendary Japanese dancer who taught several thousand students in a career that has spanned nearly eight decades, participated in a little-known part of history when she overcame obstacles to share her art with Japanese American inmates during World War II. When hostilities erupted between America and Japan, resulting in […]

Raising hope and awareness for mixed-race bone marrow matches

As a multiracial American (Japanese-Okinawan, Mexican, and German), I’ve always thought of my mixed-ness as a unique part of my identity. Recently though, I’ve learned that this attribute is a possible health concern if I were ever to be diagnosed with a blood or bone disease. More than 50,000 multiracial patients a year search for […]

Films of Remembrance presents intergenerational stories of incarceration

The Nichi Bei Foundation presented its sixth annual Films of Remembrance program Feb. 25 at the New People Cinema in San Francisco’s Japantown. The one-day film showcase focused on the mass incarceration of people of Japanese descent during World War II, most of whom were American citizens. “This year’s Films of Remembrance had a record […]

‘Resistance at Tule Lake’ sheds new light on inmates’ organized protests

“Resistance at Tule Lake,” a film about protests against injustice within the largest wartime United States concentration camp for residents of Japanese ancestry, will be shown at the sixth annual Films of Remembrance, presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation, Saturday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m., at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post St., in San […]

A narrative homage to the WWII incarceration timeline

Among the estimated 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly relocated during World War II, stories abound of the men, women and children whose lives were interrupted, broken and rebuilt in countless ways. Offered midway through the Films of Remembrance program, “Hidden Histories” presents three poetic narrative shorts that each depict a different phase […]

‘Telling Stories’ shorts at Films of Remembrance spotlights little-known WWII episodes

The Nichi Bei Foundation will present the sixth annual Films of Remembrance Saturday, Feb. 25 at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post St. in San Francisco’s Japantown. Three short films, each telling the World War II incarceration experience through unique lenses, compose the “Telling Stories” shorts program at 12:15 p.m. For more information or tickets, […]

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