Let’s Talk … About remembering

The ability to remember is something we may take for granted on a daily basis. We rely on our ability to remember in order to learn new things, avoid repeating mistakes, and to re-live experiences from our past. When it comes to painful memories of difficult times, particularly traumatic experiences that overwhelmed us, we may […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Avoiding government-induced poison

Well, that does it. From now on, I plan to buy mostly organic produce. I know that it will cost me a bit more, but after watching the new Rachel Carson documentary, this is a small price to pay for food that is certified to have no pesticides or herbicides used in its production. And […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Bizarre Japanese foods

I used to be glued to the tube when the Food Network first debuted, since it was a channel devoted exclusively to the art of the kitchen, from Emeril’s “bam,” to Mario Batali’s rustic Italian dishes, to the informative and entertaining Alton Brown, who combined theatrics along with actual technique. But like any media — […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Oshogatsu of the past

Well, another year has come and gone in what seemed like a blur in time. This is partially due to that theory of relativity — since I’m down to that last third of my personal movie, with the credits waiting to appear in the wings, every year seems to be progressing a lot faster — […]

C(API)TOL CORRESPONDENT: AAPI political power on the rise in face of new threats

A few rays of hope for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders penetrated the dark shadow cast by hate crimes and the resurrection of the white supremacy movement following the presidential election in November. AAPI candidates won a historic number of races and broke new ground in communities where AAPI elected officials are few and far […]

Let’s Talk: About unfinished business

A young man once told me about the time his father was facing a terminal illness. He had gathered his sons together before his last days to apologize for having been neglectful and abusive. At the time, the adult son felt relieved to finally hear his father take responsibility for the way he had treated […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Biracial MIS veteran Clarke Kawakami’s multifaceted legacy

Clarke Hiroshi Kawakami, a man who made his mark in many different fields, was born in Momence, Ill. in 1909. His mother was Mildred Clarke, a white American, and his father was the well-known Issei author and journalist Kiyoshi Karl Kawakami. Kiyoshi Kawakami was born in Yonezawa, Japan in the 1870s (most early sources claim […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: First shrine or temple visit of the Japanese New Year

初 (Hatsu) means “first” or “beginning.” The left side of this character represents clothes or kimono. The right side indicates a knife. To make a kimono, one must first cut the cloth. 詣 (Mode or mairu) means “to visit a shrine.” The left side of the character indicates talking. The top of the right side indicates people and the bottom of the right […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: #Thiswas2016

“When the house is going up in flames, does what’s on the TV matter?” That’s the question I kept asking myself as I sat down to write this year-end column. In October, Michael Luo, then an editor for The New York Times, was accosted on the street by a woman yelling, “Go back to China!” […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: Looking back, looking forward: Traditions on the decline

I’ve been teaching English in Japan for a long time, and around New Year’s, I always ask students if they eat osechi ryori. Out of the 50 or so elementary school students that I asked this year, about half said “no.” Given that it’s a very small sample size in a remote part of Japan, […]

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