Archives for December 2011

A violent ‘Outrage’ by Takeshi ‘Beat’ Kitano

Many have called “Outrage,” the new film by Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, a return to his roots. In some respects, that’s accurate. Like his films from the ‘90s, “Outrage” is a violent gangster flick. But beneath the surface, it has more in common with his 2003 “The Blind Swordsmen: Zatoichi,” about the iconic chambara blind swordsman. […]

Kinmon Gakuen celebrates 100 years of Japanese language instruction

Kinmon Gakuen, also known as the Golden Gate Institute, celebrated 100 years of Japanese language and culture education recently in San Francisco’s Japantown. In a gathering of former students, teachers and administrators on Oct. 29, community members also helped to celebrate the historic milestone at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. “We are dedicated […]

NEA presents 2012 grants

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced its 2012 grant awards recipients for Art Works on Nov. 17. According to the NEA, its grants are awarded to support the creation of art that “meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the […]

THE KAERU KID: Journey to Jordan

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series. I left Damascus by again taking a shared SUV for $20 to Amman, Jordan that takes about three hours, not including the time it takes to clear passport. It took about two hours to clear passport control for both Syria and Jordan, but it would […]

Two-time Olympic judo champion Uchishiba arrested on suspicion of rape

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Two-time Olympic judo champion Masato Uchishiba was arrested Dec. 6 on suspicion of raping a female member of the judo team of the university where he had served as a coach. Uchishiba, 33, allegedly raped the teenage woman at a Tokyo hotel in late September while she was falling asleep after drinking […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Healthy Future

健康 (Kenko) means “health,” which I explained in my Oct. 20-26, 2011 column. 未来 (Mirai) means “future.” 未 (mi) means “not ripe yet,” and consists of two parts. The top horizontal line represents fruit that is not yet ripe and the bottom line represents a tree. 来 (rai or kuru) means “come,” and consists of […]

OBITUARY: Mary Miyeko Tonai

TONAI, MARY MIYEKO passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of November 26, 2011. She was born on Jan. 30, 1918 in Oakland, Calif. and raised in the Los Angeles area with her sisters, Carrie (Fujii) and Helen (Yokoyama). She married Sataro Tonai prior to the outbreak of World War II and during […]

OBITUARY: Mary Hisako Hamada

HAMADA, MARY HISAKO, born in Sacramento, Calif. on Sept. 14, 1922, she passed away Nov. 12, 2011 in San Francisco at the age of 89. She is survived by grandsons Jeffrey, William, Jonathan and daughter-in-law Jane Hamada, all of Sunnyvale, brother Pete Kurihara of Gardena, sister Lorraine Suzuki of San Francisco and many nieces and […]

Journey to Tohoku

In early November 2011, my wife and I traveled to the Tohoku area on the northeast coast of Japan to witness the aftermath of the enormous earthquake and tsunami that devastated that area on March 11, 2011. Watching the tsunami destroy everything in its path on our televisions and the Internet was frightening enough, but […]

THE KAERU KID: Seriously, Syria (Pt. 2)

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series. I treated my couch surfer host to dinner at Al Khawali restaurant, which is located in an old house with a lovely courtyard in Old Town. The food was delicious and reasonable. Supposedly, Sen. John Kerry once had dinner here. When I was first planning […]

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