A historical survey of Asian Americans in the Heartland

ASIAN AMERICANS IN MICHIGAN: VOICES FROM THE MIDWEST Edited by Sook Wilkinson and Victor Jew (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2015, 384 pp., $34.95, paperback) In 2009, I published an article about Japanese Americans in the Interior West, a field earlier pioneered by two Arizona State University doctoral students, Eric Walz and Andrew Russell. So […]

Korean star Jae-Gyun Hwang powers his way to Giants history

In a dismal season, San Francisco Giants fans had a reason to celebrate June 28. Playing at home versus the Colorado Rockies, Jae-Gyun Hwang made history as the first Korea-born player to suit up for the Giants. In his major league debut, the 29-year-old infielder hit a dramatic, go-ahead home run in the sixth inning. […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: A behind-the-scenes glimpse at a historian’s work documenting JA stories

One of the burdens of my work as a historian of Japanese Americans is the continuing sense of time passing. I have a continuing need to find people before they move out of reach, due to death or disability. Now, I realize that, on one level, I have less ground for complaint than most. After […]

Shigeaki Hinohara, Japan’s centenarian doctor, dies at 105

TOKYO — Shigeaki Hinohara, honorary head of St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo who continued practicing as a doctor after turning 100 and was a well-respected cultural figure, died from respiratory failure on July 18, the hospital said. He was 105. During his more than half-century as a physician at one of Tokyo’s leading hospitals, […]

OBITUARY: Yuki Shibata Ashizawa

ASHIZAWA, YUKI SHIBATA, 93, born May 23, 1924, passed away peacefully on June 12, 2017. She is preceded in death by her husband, Mas Ashizawa, parents Kiyoshi and Ai Nakamura, brothers Ichiro, Jiro and Sam and sister Kiyo. Yuki is survived by Carol Yuki (Tom), Karen Shinoda, Sue Shibata (Tim), Mark Ashizawa, Phil (Eunice) Ashizawa, […]

A year later, Pokemon Go is fitness tool for older people

OSAKA  — About a year after the craze over the release of Pokemon Go, the smartphone app game has largely become a tool for middle-aged and older people to stay fit as well as a way for some Japanese tourist spots to attract visitors. One day in early July, 48-year-old Tsutomu Misago was touching the […]

7 life terms for mass killing at Oakland university

OAKLAND, Calif. — One Goh was sentenced July 14 to seven consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 271 years to life in state prison for killing seven people in a shooting rampage at Oikos University in Oakland five years ago. Goh, 48, a Korean national, said in a statement […]

Napa: Detour sign altered to demean ethnic group

Caltrans was told on July 2 about a detour sign in Napa that was hacked or changed to read something hateful, a Caltrans spokesman said July 7. Caltrans was alerted at 11:45 p.m. of the sign on state Highway 121 where the Sarco Creek Bridge Replacement Project is underway that said “Caution Asian Drivers,” spokesman […]

The family that makes mochi together, stays together

THANK YOU VERY MOCHI By Paul Matsushima, Sophie Wang and Craig Ishii; illustrated by Jing Zheng (Los Angeles: Kizuna, 2016, 40 pp., $17.50, hardcover) Mochi-lovers, here’s a book you’ll enjoy reading with your children or grandchildren. It shows how mochi was made in the days before there were mochi machines.  The grandfather in the story […]

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 […]

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