Archives for April 2014

BEATING OUT A NEW PATH: The proliferation of taiko in America

The art of taiko drumming has had a presence in the United States for just under half a century. Several pioneers fostered and drove the art from its cultural roots to what is now an internationally recognized form of performance art featured in mainstream movies, television and music. Taiko Takes Root in the U.S. In […]

Japanese cultural classes

Taiko San Francisco GenRyu Arts Location: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., S.F.’s Japantown Contact: (415) 420-3151,, Maikaze Daiko Location: Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., S.F. Contact: (415) 513-7798,, San Francisco Taiko Dojo Classes: 212 Ryan Way South San Francisco, CA  94080 Contact: (415) 928-2456, […]

In karate, manners matter

On a Friday evening, the seven students in Sensei Naohiro Tomiyama’s Japantown-based Enshin Karate dojo spar with each other in two-minute battles, kicking, punching and pulling at each other’s uniforms. When Tomiyama-sensei’s timer dings, it’s always the same thing: A handshake, a bow and a polite thank you. Then onto the next classmate for another […]

MUSHAKOJI SENKE: The Third Way of Tea

Following the creation of the Japanese tea ceremony by Rikyu Sen in the 16th century, the school eventually split into three. The most well-known of the three are the Omotesenke and Urasenke schools, both with branches in San Francisco. The third and smallest school, practiced only by a handful of people on the West Coast, […]

FULL COUNT: Season begins with many in minors, on DL

The 2014 regular season has begun and former San Francisco Giants’ first baseman Travis Ishikawa made the Pittsburg Pirates’ roster after a strong spring. One-time fan favorite Kensuke Tanaka begins the year with the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock while his friend Yu Darvish is on the disabled list with back issues. Darvish is […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: To hear and to listen to

聞く (Kiku) means “to hear,” which consists of two parts. The center lines represent an ear, and outside of the lines represent an entrance gate. Together, our ears are the entrance gate for sound or words. 聴く (Kiku) means “to listen to,” which consists of four parts. The left side is an ear and the […]

International court rules against Japan in whaling dispute, orders halt

THE HAGUE (Kyodo News) — Japan lost a court case March 31 lodged by Australia seeking an end to Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, as the U.N. court ruled Japan’s whaling is not conducted for scientific purposes and ordered it to stop. The judgment by the International Court of Justice in The Hague is […]

THE KAERU KID: If it’s Tuesday, this must be…

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Belgium. Older readers will be able to easily complete the above title because of a 1969 romantic comedy with that name. It was about a group on a whirlwind tour rushing through Europe.  If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend it. Belgium is a small […]

Beware of the FBI’s shaky record of investigative integrity

The arrest of Leland Yee, California state senator, accused of graft, is the latest of a string of Chinese Americans ensnared by the FBI, some caught red handed and others unwitting victims cornered by a bureau of investigation that frequently acted above the laws they were sworn to protect. In the case of Yee, based […]

Yee appears in court, bail kept at $500,000, ordered to return April 8

(Bay City News Service) — Suspended State Sen. Leland Yee appeared briefly in federal court in San Francisco on March 31 and was told that his bail will remain at $500,000 while he awaits a trial on corruption and gun trafficking charges. Yee, 65, wearing a dark gray business suit and white shirt, said nothing […]

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