Archives for June 2013

OBITUARY: Akira “Ike” Hirota

HIROTA, AKIRA “IKE”, 85, born Jan. 25, 1928, passed away April 27, 2013. Ike is survived by his wife Nancy and children Jamie, Aaron, and JoDee (Paul) Leung, two grandchildren, brother Susumu (Michiye), sister in law Shiz, brother in law James (Margaret) Tsuji, and extended family.  He is predeceased by parents Masajiro and Konoye, brothers […]

OBITUARY: Rumi Uragami

 URAGAMI, RUMI, 85, passed away June 5, 2013 at Keiro Nursing Home after a long illness. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Robert “Bob” Katsumi Uragami; daughter, Derry Kinuyo Pierson; and son, Timothy “Tim” Eiji (Cynthia) Uragami. One of her twin daughters, Toni Toyone, passed away as an infant. She also leaves […]

FULL COUNT: Pitchers in All-Star form, but bats are mostly silent

With the MLB All-Star Game less than three weeks away, several Japanese hurlers should be on the mound at the New York Mets’ Citi Field on July 16; at least two of them. Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish (7-3) is sporting a 2.95 ERA with just 33 walks and a league leading 143 strikeouts while […]

JCHESS nears presentation to board, suggests preservation, promotion of J-Town through city

The San Francisco Japantown Organizing Committee met June 19 to discuss the Japantown Cultural Heritage and Economic Sustainability Strategy (JCHESS) draft, to receive information about the Invest in Neighborhoods initiative, social heritage businesses, the definition of formula retail and a proposed high-rise at 1481 Post St. Diana Ponce De Leon, project manager for the initiative […]

Third annual Northern Calif. Soy and Tofu Fest a hit

The Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival held its third annual event June 1 in San Francisco’s Japantown, focusing on educating attendees about the versatility of soy and tofu products. While promoting a healthy lifestyle by featuring food vendors like Hodo Soy Beanery, Rau Om and cruncha ma-me, the event also highlighted the use of […]

Community pressures family to sell J-Town Victorian

After entering foreclosure and closing escrow June 18 according to the Johnson family, the future of 1712 Fillmore St. and its tenants remain unclear. The old Victorian house on the western edge of Japantown is currently occupied by Marcus Books of San Francisco, which describes itself as the nation’s oldest African American bookstore and the […]

Southern California Obons and summer festivals

Valley Japanese Community Center’s Obon festival is on Saturday, June 22 (5-10 p.m.), and Sunday, June 23 (5-9 p.m.), at 8850 Lankershim Blvd., Sun Valley. Bon Odori begins at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. There will be food and entertainment (including the Matsutoyo Kai dance and musical group on Saturday, Los Angeles Matsuri […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The civil rights politics and complexities of Nikkei ‘coming out’ as LGBT

This week’s entry represents the seventh annual column that I have produced for the Nichi Bei on the queer heritage of Japanese Americans. In past entries, I have explored such topics as the varieties of Issei sexuality, the turn to Western-style family models (and homophobia) within Japanese communities, and the community’s turn to support for […]

LET’S TALK: About grief and loss

Grief and loss is one of life’s unavoidable challenges. Unavoidable because it is human nature to become attached, especially to people we love. And the challenge is accepting the heartache that comes with the loss of a loved one. We do know that there is a process that people typically go through as they come […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Dining out yesteryear

Once again, we’re entering the Obon season, where we greet and dance with family and friends who have passed on. Of course, it’s also a time of reflection, remembering not just those who have passed on, but also significant events in our past. Since this column is primarily about food, wine and nutrition, it got […]

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