Archives for January 2013

An inclusive tribute to the Nisei WWII veterans

PROUD TO SERVE: JAPANESE AMERICAN WORLD WAR II VETERANS Edited by Chris Komai (Los Angeles: Rafu Shimpo and Japanese American Living Legacy 2012, 390 pp., $29.95, paperback) This is a wonderful compilation and recognition of Nisei men and women who served in all the units besides Military Intelligence Service, 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental […]

Tule Lake revisited and reframed

TULE LAKE REVISITED: A BRIEF HISTORY AND GUIDE TO THE TULE LAKE CONCENTRATION CAMP SITE (second edition) By Barbara Takei and Judy Tachibana (San Francisco: Tule Lake Committee Inc., 56 pp., $15, spiral bound) This is a timely and much needed revision of the original “Tule Lake” (2001). Much has transpired, beginning with the transformation […]

A comprehensive and complex look at multiethnic Asian American identities

WHEN HALF IS WHOLE: MULTIETHNIC ASIAN AMERICAN IDENTITIES By Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2012, 248 pp., $21.95, paperback) The whole spectrum of the mixed race, multiethnic Asian American experience could never be contained in a single book. That said, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu’s new book, “When Half is Whole,” comes pretty close (without […]

One family’s take on ‘the civil rights issue of our time’

TWO SPIRITS, ONE HEART: A MOTHER, HER TRANSGENDER SON, AND THEIR JOURNEY TO LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE By Marsha Aizumi (Arcadia, Calif.: Peony Press: 290 pp., $16.95 hard cover) Marsha Aizumi’s book, “Two Spirits, One Heart,” is a memoir about her experience as the mother of a child who comes out as a lesbian, then transitioned […]

Colorizing a dark chapter in American history

COLORS OF CONFINEMENT: RARE KODACHROME PHOTOGRAPHS OF JAPANESE AMERICAN INCARCERATION IN WORLD WAR II Edited by Eric L. Muller (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill in association with Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, 2012, 136 pp., $35, cloth) This volume is at once a wonderful and rare addition to […]

Nihonmachi Little Friends launches $3.5 mil. capital campaign for new building

Nihonmachi Little Friends announced its plans to build an addition to its current location at 1830 Sutter St. in San Francisco’s Japantown. The community-based multicultural childcare organization made the announcement during its annual Sushi Social fundraiser, which was held Nov. 16, 2012. NLF has called the project the “Plant A Seed Campaign,” which aims to […]


When I set about writing my retrospective of Asian Pacific Islanders in the media in 2012, I thought of it like explaining a diagnosis to a patient. “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” If it were me, I’d almost always want the bad first, but I quickly realized that getting […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: A decade of wala’au

Wala’au is the Hawaiian term for speaking, as in having a simple conversation, which is what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years with you in Nichi Bei Land, originally through the Nichi Bei Times and recently through the Nichi Bei Weekly. I make no pretense of it, my column will never win a […]

THE KAERU KID: India — Still the jewel, but no longer in the crown

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three part series. This is indeed India; the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, […]

SEPARATED BY AMERICA’S WWII CONCENTRATION CAMPS: Japanese dolls reunite friends after 70 years

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The childhood friendship of 10-year-old Beverly Pond and Marianne Rikimaru, coupled with Pond’s kindness and perseverance, triumphed over a 70-year separation when the two finally reunited in Sacramento on Dec. 1 after decades of searching. Pond, whose married name is Thornton, could finally return the three sets of Japanese dolls her family […]

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