Archives for June 2014

Rights activist Kochiyama dies

Yuri Kochiyama, a noted human rights activist seen in the iconic photo as she held the lifeless body of Malcolm X in 1965, died in Berkeley, Calif. on June 1, 2014. She was 93. “Yuri was a legendary champion of civil rights who dedicated her life to the pursuit of social justice across communities of […]

OBITUARY: May Sumiko Iwahashi

IWAHASHI, MAY SUMIKO, 97, born July 23, 1916, loving wife of Donald Iwahashi for 74 years, passed away peacefully at her home on May 24, 2014 in Daly City surrounded by family. She is survived by her husband Donald, her four children, David, Kenneth, Pauline Nagata and Christine, her six grandchildren and one great grandchild. […]

FULL COUNT: Mid-June report for three JA players

A trio of Japanese American major leaguers find themselves in very different situations at this point in the season. With the All-Star Game just over a month away, Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki ranks fifth in votes among AL catchers. Known primarily for his defense, Suzuki is off to one of his best offensive starts […]

SAN JOSE CHIDORI BAND: Playing the classics and dancing for the ancestors

SAN JOSE — In 1953, community leaders in San Jose’s Japantown came together to discuss the ethnic enclave’s needs. During a period when Japanese-language performance arts was scarce, the community realized there was a need for entertainment for its Issei. The San Jose Chidori Band was formed in response and has since performed a mix […]

What Bon Odori is not

Bon Odori in America is Japanese American, not Japanese. Bon Odori is generally not observed at Jodoshinshu temples in Japan. Bon Odori is not “Ondo.” Ondo does not mean dance in the Japanese language, it means to “take the lead” in a cheer or toast, and is a form of music with a single singer […]


The next year of television is set to be a big one for Asian Pacific Island Americans. A couple weeks ago, when ABC picked up the sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” the first Asian American network sitcom in a good two decades, it sparked some discussion (and reflection) on the role of APIs on TV. […]

Man arrested on suspicion of killing his ex-wife

NAPA, Calif. — Napa police arrested a 71-year-old man June 1 on suspicion of killing his ex-wife. Napa police and the Napa County coroner’s office have not identified the victim, but Allison Hallum, general manager of Eiko’s Modern Japanese cuisine in Napa, identified the victim as Eiko Nakamura, the founder of the restaurant. A friend […]

Let’s Talk: About cancer (Part II)

In the last column, I wrote about “Coping with cancer” and invited readers to share with me ways they have found to cope with cancer. Although I received a few ideas on the topic, I was struck by a question that seemed important to address. “What if I’m not coping at all?” This person went […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Queer non-Nikkei figures in Japanese American history (Part IV)

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and final part of an ongoing series. Monika Kehoe’s wartime position as director of adult education at the Gila River War Relocation Authority concentration camp led to a postwar career that took her around the world, pursuing interests in multiple fields and working variously as instructor, athletics coach, administrator, […]

Shinseki leaves Obama’s Cabinet over scandal

WASHINGTON — Eric Shinseki, a Japanese American who served as U.S. secretary of veterans affairs, stepped down from the Cabinet post on May 30 following problems in the healthcare system for veterans, President Barack Obama said. Obama told a press conference at the White House that he has accepted an offer of resignation by Shinseki. […]

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