Archives for April 2010

COMMENTARY: Spam Musubi and the Gift of Service

In last week’s issue (April 15, 2010, “Cherry Blossom Festival Gets Under Way,”) we reported that when the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s outdoor events were canceled on April 11, due to a thunderstorm, the sensei of Church of Perfect Liberty asked the group’s booth volunteers to give away the Spam musubi they were selling […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: The Patient Heart of a Ninja

The kanji character 忍 (nin or shinobu) means “patience.” This character is made of two parts. The top is  刃 (yaiba), which means “sword or knife.” The bottom is 心 (kokoro), which means “spiritual or physical heart.” Nin is when someone attacks you with a sword and almost kills you by missing your heart, but you remain patient […]

‘The Harimaya Bridge’ Tells a Universal Story Characters Come From Different Countries, Races, Generations

In a new movie, “The Harimaya Bridge,” premiering in San Francisco on April 23, an American journeys to Japan, a country he has long resented, to collect some items that belonged to his estranged son, who died there two years prior. Confronting painful memories and long-held stereotypes — his own and those others hold against […]


No, it’s not the waitress (or waiter) that you’ve been eyeing at the local diner. It’s not a group of Brits singing pop songs on the radio. Nor is it a metaphor for any other indulgence (illicit or otherwise) that you’re engaging in. Real spice’s:  The stuff that flavors food. And I’ll be liberal in […]

OBITUARY: Yukiye Yamamoto

YAMAMOTO, YUKIYE, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on March 25, 2010. She was born on March 24, 1917 in San Jose, Calif. She is survived by son Howard (Mitzie); daughter Keiko; grandsons Kyle Yamamoto, Scott Nabeta and Ryan Yamamoto; great-grandsons Sean and Evan Yamamoto and Mitchell and Miles Nabeta; brother Ernie (Toyo) Inouye; […]

OBITUARY: Richard “Dick” M. Seiki

SEIKI, RICHARD “DICK” M., passed away peacefully on March 30, 2010. He was born on December 20, 1912 in San Francisco. Richard is survived by his sons Richard Jr. (1881 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94106) and Donald, daughter Arlene, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Private services were held on April 2, at Ashley & […]

Laid-Off Workers at Toyota-GM Venture Feel Betrayed

FREMONT, Calif. — Workers have expressed grave disappointment in General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. after the closing of their joint venture in California left 4,700 without jobs. After some 25 years of operation, the last Toyota Corolla car came off the assembly line at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. April 1. The equally […]

THE KAERU KID: Having a Ball in the Baltics, Part 2

Note: The first part of this article ran in the April 1 issue. I am taking the bus from Tallinn, Estonia on the way to Vilnius, Lithuania, but make a stop at the city of Siauliai, Lithuania to view the Hill of Crosses. Teutonic knights occupied the city after its founding in 1236 during the […]

Multiracial Enka Singer Jero ‘Helps Connect Cultures’

“I’m at a loss for words, it’s really humbling to be here,” Pittsburgh-native and enka sensation Jero told the audience at his sold-out March 28 show at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco. “I never imagined being able to perform like this in a foreign country.” The 28-year-old mixed-race Nikkei paused and […]

Arisa Hiroi, 19, Crowned Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen

Impressing judges with her poise and intellect despite being the youngest candidate, Arisa Hiroi was chosen as the 2010 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen at age 19, the youngest in many years to take the prize. The San Francisco native was crowned at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas on April 10, after a program of speeches […]

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