Archives for April 2012

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Getting the monkey off our backs, through understanding history

Let’s face it. We Japanese Americans of the camp generations still carry a heavy monkey on our backs, for we carry the memory of having been stuck in concentration camps for three years. We were categorized into oversimplified, distorted categories of having been “loyal” or “disloyal” or associated with a family that carried one of […]

LETTERS: Great job on the Cherry Blossom Festival and Japanese Culture Guide!

Dear Editor, The Cherry Blossom edition (Nichi Bei Weekly Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival and Japanese Culture Guide) is fantastic!  I enjoyed reading it cover to cover and especially liked the directories the paper provided on how you can learn more about each of the topics highlighted. In addition to being a sort of introduction […]

SF: “Prisoners and Patriots: The Untold Story of Japanese Internment in Santa Fe” screening

“Prisoners and Patriots: The Untold Story of Japanese Internment in Santa Fe” will be screened at 1 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. in S.F.’s Japantown. The documentary tells the story of 4,555 persons of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in Santa Fe, N.M. during World War […]

Japanese Gardens at The Huntington reopens after year-long renovation

SAN MARINO, Calif. — The historic Japanese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens reopened to the public April 11. The Japanese garden celebrates its centennial following a year-long renovation and improvement project. The $6.8 million project in the nine-acre garden adds an additional three-quarter-acres to the original garden and a ceremonial […]

Korean Americans look inward after Oakland shooting

The shooting that killed seven at a private Christian university in Oakland would never have happened in Korea, where owning a firearm is outlawed. That at least is the assessment of community members who point to America’s own thriving gun culture as a causal factor in this and other incidents. “Gun possession is a major […]

DEDICATION AND PATIENCE: Understanding the disciplines of naginata

Naginata, a type of Japanese spear, has a rich history within Japan’s martial arts, and has historically been known for its abundance of female practitioners. “The naginata is favored by women because the long staff uses the whole body and centrifugal force,” said Miyako Tanaka, kyoshi (master and teacher) and vice president of The Northern […]

Hundreds gather to honor victims of mass school shooting

OAKLAND (Bay City News Service) — A multi-faith, bilingual memorial service for the victims of a mass shooting at an Oakland Christian vocational school on April 2 drew more than 300 friends, family, city officials and faith leaders the next evening. Seven people were killed in the shooting at Oikos University on April 2. Four […]

The art of washi ningyo: Paper dolls capturing lifelike movement

One annual highlight of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is the Grand Parade, when dancers, drummers and the Queen court march through the streets. But a second, smaller parade is also part of the festival, with its own taiko, kimono-clad women and a miniature mikoshi. This parade is composed of washi ningyo, traditional Japanese […]

Urasenke Foundation teaches tea ceremony — and appreciation of each moment

A woman enters a tatami room with slow, measured steps and approaches an iron pot of water in a hearth sunken into the floor, set to boil on pieces of charcoal. She slowly sets out supplies, unwraps the tea powder and meticulously wipes the teacup and bamboo scoop, all in a steady silence, pausing meaningfully […]

Ikebana teacher continues parents’ commitment to sharing the art

On a Saturday afternoon, in a classroom on the second floor of the Buchanan YMCA, a small group of women are contemplating flowers. Their teacher, Julie Nakatani, circulates among them, advising in English and Japanese and offering additions from two huge white buckets of flowers and a giant pile of quince branches. “Make it look […]

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