Archives for September 2012

INTO RWANDA: Sacramento teen’s humanitarian trip to the African country

Imagine walking down the street among the hustle and bustle of your typical American neighborhood — its faint brown-blue skies in the horizon and the pungent, gasoline-infused atmosphere filling the air. On the opposite side of the street, you spot a friendly-looking citizen walking toward you. You shoot out your arm in a gesture to […]

Community leader Yo Hironaka dies

Yo Hironaka, who served in numerous leadership roles in the San Francisco Japanese American community — including as a co-chair of the 100th anniversary of San Francisco’s Japantown in 2006 — passed away on Aug. 30, 2012 in San Francisco. Incarcerated at the Topaz (Central Utah) concentration camp during World War II, Hironaka in recent […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: We the people have an obligation

I don’t think I need to mention that I am an intense political junkie. I really got hooked on politics after all my research into the history of our incarceration during World War II, with the realization that governments, even in a democracy such as ours, have huge powers over our lives. I also realized […]

Where’s the evidence Aoki was (an) FBI informant?

Seth Rosenfeld’s dramatic announcement that Richard Aoki was an FBI informant provoked an enormous response from Chronicle readers. Could it be true? Or was this a “snitch-jacketing,” a classic FBI tactic used to cast suspicion on a legitimate activist by spreading rumors and manufacturing evidence? As a scholar, I insist on seeing evidence before concluding […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Shinkichi George Tajiri’s artistic legacy depicts a diverse lifetime of hardships

Amid the innumerable topics that make up the tapestry of Japanese American history, one little-noticed theme is that of Nisei in Europe. While the exploits of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy and France during World War II have been thoroughly studied and commemorated, the large presence of Nisei students, soldiers and expatriates in […]


HANAMURA, HARUO “HOWE,” 93, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on Aug. 18, 2012. Born on April 10, 1919 in Alameda, Calif., he attended Alameda High School, competing in basketball, football and discus. Within the Japanese American community, he attended Buena Vista United Methodist Church and played for the Mudhens football and […]

OBITUARY: Michiko Hirasaki Sakamoto

SAKAMOTO, MICHIKO HIRASAKI, of Kensington, CA, passed away peacefully at home Aug. 6, 2012, after a long illness. Born in Gilroy, Calif. on March 11, 1927, the daughter of Haruye Yonemitsu and Kiyoshi Hirasaki. She was the fourth sibling of eight children. Michiko attended schools in Gilroy. During World War II, she graduated from high […]

Topaz High School class reunites for third last hurrah

The Topaz High School class of 1945’s 67th year reunion took place in San Francisco on Aug. 25 and 26. The meeting marks the 67th year since the former students graduated from school in Topaz, Utah while incarcerated in an American concentration camp. A total of 27 former classmates and a dozen more relatives shared […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Get your Brassica on!

You’ve probably sampled at least one of the Brassica oleracea species of vegetables since they encompass a diverse range of edible delights. From cauliflower and broccoli to kale and cabbage to Brussels sprouts and collards, this diversity lends itself to tasty side dishes as well as main courses, and as an added bonus, the group […]

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