Archives for April 2011

‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ skillfully explores wartime prejudice

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The Japanese American concentration camps of World War II provide a compelling backdrop for the excellent theatrical production of “Snow Falling on Cedars.” Based on David Guterson’s 1994 best-selling novel, the play offers a potent mix of romance and whodunit, as well as an exploration of the issue of prejudice against […]

ORIGAMI, THE ART: Supporting the community and embracing a wider audience

Since the first Festival, the Mihara family — owners of Paper Tree, a paper specialty store — have offered free origami instruction as part of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. The Mihara sisters, Linda and Vicky, have fond memories of teaching children to fold paper at the Festival — starting when they were kids […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The life and times of resister Gordon Hirabayashi (Part 1 of 2)

As we remember the wartime removal of Japanese Americans, one outstanding figure to celebrate is Gordon Hirabayashi, a man of principle whose legal challenge to official injustice went all the way to the Supreme Court. Jeanne Sakata’s 2007 play “Dawn’s Light” has now brought Hirabayashi’s wartime tale exploits to countless audiences. However, there is a […]

Jeddie Kawahatsu crowned 2011 Northern CA Cherry Blossom Festival queen

After an evening of speeches, dancing and music — striking a balance between joyous celebration and somber reflection on the devastation in Northeastern Japan — San Francisco native Jeddie Narumi Kawahatsu, 21, was crowned 2011 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival queen. At Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco’s Japantown on April 9, candidates Kaori Saito, […]

San Jose State gymnast going to Nationals

San Jose State University women’s gymnast Katie Valleau will compete in the 2011 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships, which will be held April 15-17, in Cleveland, Ohio. Valleau scored a career-best 9.900 to tie three other gymnasts for first place at the NCAA Corvallis Regional held April 2. In advancing to the championships, the gymnast, […]

THE KAERU KID: Nature’s Light Show

I was invited to visit the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico by friends who were volunteering at the Nature Conservancy there. They knew exactly how to pique my interest by telling me about “BioBay.” I had previously visited the main Puerto Rico island in the distant past, and having already seen Condado Beach and its […]

OBITUARY: Kiyoshi Kawamoto

KAWAMOTO, KIYOSHI, 86, born March 11, 1925, in Reedley, Calif., passed away April 3, 2011. Survived by his wife of 57 years, Sueko; two children, Jon (Dawn) Kawamoto and Ellyn (Steve) Hendricks. Grandfather to Kyra Kawamoto. A funeral service was held April 8 at the Reedley Buddhist Church.  

Leading Democratic strategist Kuwata dies

VENICE, Calif. — Kam Kuwata, a leading Democratic political strategist who helped shepherd support for California’s high-speed rail ballot initiative as well as then-Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency, was found dead in his Venice, Calif. home on April 11, various news sources report. He was 57. Although the cause of death was not […]

Koreans overcome ethnic divide to aid quake-hit Japanese

KYOTO (Kyodo) — Pro-Pyongyang Korean residents of Japan, a target of ethnic and political prejudice in society, have been offering help to distraught Japanese victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Leading members of the minority group say they are bound by a common sense of mission to save people’s lives regardless of ethnic […]

A sampling of Bay Area cultural classes

Traditional Japanese Music and Dance Odori (Dance) Ensohza Minyoshu at Crissy Field Center, Presidio, SF Schedule: Sun. (twice a month), 5-7 p.m. Cost: Sessions are free. Students must make a commitment to joining the performance group, which entails costume costs and other occasional fees for training with master teachers. Contact: Training in Japanese folk dance […]

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