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 […]

Let’s Talk About … Honoring the dead

Obon season is upon us. It is when our Japanese American communities gather to share an ancient Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of our ancestors. In Japan, it is a time when families return to their ancestral family homes to visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. It is thought to be the time when […]

Recognizing Japanese American lesbians’ activism, then and now

The season for gay pride is upon us. This year, there is extra cause for celebration with the selection of professor Amy Sueyoshi, a community activist and leading historian of queer Asian Americans, as a grand marshal of the San Francisco Pride parade. In addition to Sueyoshi’s own considerable qualities, the choice is gratifying on […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Got rice?

As far back as I can remember, the Tatsumoto clan always had rice in the house. There was the one 25-pound bag of rice “in use” stored in the mini plastic garbage can and the reserve 25-pound bag sitting next to the washing machine. If it seemed like there might be a possible Matson strike, […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Natto dinner at Koko Head Café

Because June signals the arrival of the annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival — held this year Saturday, June 17 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Event Center at Saint Mary’s Cathedral at 1111 Gough St. (at Geary Blvd.) near San Francisco’s Japantown — get ready for your fill of all things […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Let’s get into the struggle

What a year this is turning out to be. There is so much uncertainty that I feel at a loss for words to address the situation that our country is in. One thing is becoming clear: Americans are alarmed, taking to the streets and speaking up in surprising ways. And we Asian Americans are also […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: A spot of tea

From one single plant, almost every culture has a beverage based on the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis, whether it’s the drink of choice for the average Brit’s afternoon ritual, tea for the formal chanoyu (tea ceremony) or somewhere in between. In the case of the Gochiso Gourmet, it’s the rum cocktail. But tea has […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Love of heaven and earth

天 (Ten) means “heaven.” The top line indicates the sky or universe and the bottom lines indicate a big person who is standing with open hands. 地 (Chi) means “earth or soil.” The left side represents the ground and the right side symbolizes a snake. This is to show that the earth is not flat, […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Life of flower

花 (Hana) means “flower.” The top indicates a plant. The left side below the plant indicates a person, and the right side indicates the person who is upside down in the ground, meaning death. A flower begins as a plant, blooms as a flower, and then it eventually dies. 命 (Inochi) means “life.” The top indicates a […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Are you seeing red?

No, it’s not because I’m an angry person by nature. Actually, it’s almost the opposite; I’m usually a Type B personality. Though I do enjoy seeing red — in my wine glass, that is. But because I reside in the 50th, where we typically experience just two seasons, a very hot summer running from October […]

Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification