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, […]

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 […]

Compassion abounds in intimate journey

GENTLY TO NAGASAKI By Joy Kogawa (Halfmoon Bay, B.C.: Caitlin Press Inc., 2016, 214 pp., $25.95 CAD, paper) “Gently to Nagasaki” is filled with honesty, fragility and deep questioning of opposing forces and ironic encounters that bring writer Joy Kogawa to unravel her truth. Before the memoir begins, Kogawa calls upon the Goddess of Mercy, […]

An entertaining and insightful exploration of humanity

KILLING AND DYING By Adrian Tomine (New York: Drawn & Quarterly, 2016, 121 pp., $22.95, hard cover) “Killing and Dying,” the latest collection of short graphic stories from Adrian Tomine, is sad, thoughtful and funny. It’s full of memorable characters and situations that reveal uncommon insight about the human condition and human relationships. Plus, it’s […]

Groundbreaking fieldwork a guidebook to Nikkei journey of (further) discovery

REDEFINING JAPANESENESS: JAPANESE AMERICANS IN THE ANCESTRAL HOMELAND By Jane H. Yamashiro (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017, 224 pp., $27.95, paperback) In spite of being involved in researching and writing about Japanese American history for 45 years, I have only been to Japan once, and then for but a week in the Tokyo-Yokohama […]

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 […]

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