‘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, […]

Arkansas ‘Relocation’: Film explores impact of camps on inmates’ children

In 1942, some 120,000 West Coast Japanese Americans were taken from their homes and imprisoned in concentration camps throughout the country. A film showing the impact of the incarceration on the children born to inmates in the Rohwer camp, or after the Arkansas camp closed down, will be shown in conjunction with the Day of […]

PLAYING WITH CHIMU (Heart/Soul): Reclaiming cultural identity with the Okinawan sanshin

Chances are, if you hear Okinawan music in the Bay Area, there’s a good bet that Wesley Ueunten and his Berkeley Genyukai have something to do with it. Since 2000, Ueunten and Berkeley Genyukai have been omnipresent throughout the region, helping to showcase Okinawan music to a larger audience at various events, including the San […]

Sacramento Bonsai Club celebrates 70 years

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Believed to be the oldest bonsai club in California, the Sacramento Bonsai Club celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Founded in 1946, the club’s first meetings were held at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento at its old location on O Street. The meetings moved when Sacramento’s 1958 Redevelopment Plan forced the temple […]

INVITING PEOPLE INTO THE FOLD: Sisters advance the art of origami

Raised around the art of origami, Linda Mihara and Vicky Mihara Avery have unfolded the public’s fascination with making art from a single sheet of paper. Recognized as paperfolders, the Mihara sisters have helped establish the art of origami both nationally and internationally. Most recently, Linda Mihara co-curated “Origami Living World” at the National History […]

YOUNG LEARNER: Sogetsu instructor Kika Shibata’s ikebana interest started early

After a few busy weeks of work, 13-year Sogetsu ikebana practitioner Yasmin Spiegel arrived at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in Sacramento, Calif. with a creativity block and little inspiration to create her pieces for that weekend’s ikebana show. While mentally listing the many things that needed to be done to prepare for the […]

Steeped in tradition, American karate pioneer Bernard Edwards

Bernard Edwards Shihan (grand-master) has been a lifelong practitioner of karate. A competitive champion in the early part of his life, he won several prestigious tournaments both in Japan and the U.S. He opened his own school in San Mateo, Calif. to teach Hakua Kai karate, which was the style’s first official school in America. […]

THE TAIKO TRAVELER: Kristy Oshiro teaches taiko and builds community

When professional taiko artist Kristy Oshiro prepares to drive to a neighboring city to teach classes, she puts a bucket of bachi (taiko drumsticks) on her passenger-side seat, 15 drum stands in her trunk and stacks 15 practice taiko (drums) in the back seat of her Honda Accord. “And safely! I can still see out […]

Learning tea at San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University offers two unique classes to undergraduate and graduate students of its Japanese Program. The university is officially registered to teach its students the Omotesenke School of Tea, and has been doing so since 2009. Midori McKeon, professor of Japanese and an Omotesenke lecturer, teaches semester-long classes on Japanese tea ceremony, or […]

Tomorrow’s leaders: Collegiate taiko groups

The modern kumi-daiko (Japanese drum ensemble) has a more than 40-year long tradition in the United States. The sound of large drums and bells drum up support for local community events, serving as the start of many Japanese American community events. With its prevalence, more people, including collegiate groups, are playing taiko today than ever […]

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