Archives for July 2014

A visual depiction of the 100th and 442nd’s sacrifice

JOURNEY OF HEROES: The Story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team By Stacey T. Hayashi, Illustrated by Damon Wong (Self published, 2012, 45 pp., $10, paperback) It is difficult to understand the horrors of war, much less the experience of Japanese American veterans who fought for a nation that imprisoned their […]

A young Nisei’s life, reimagined

FOX DRUM BEBOP By Gene Oishi (Los Angeles: Kaya Press, 2014, 276 pp., $16.95, paperback) I knew of Gene Oishi, the Nisei author of “Fox Drum Bebop,” well before I actually met him. This was because in 1968 he became implicated in a national (even international) cause célèbre for his victimization in a high-profile racist […]

Exploring the wartime Kibei-Nisei struggles

SHOW ME THE WAY TO GO HOME: The Moral Dilemma of Kibei No No Boys in World War II Incarceration Camps By Takako Day (Middlebury, Vt.: Wren Song Press, 2014, 222 pp., $19.95, paperback) “What I have attempted to introduce in (‘Show Me the Way Home’),” writes Takako Day in the preface to her brilliant, […]

Early Nikkei realism, with a twist

LAMENT IN THE NIGHT By Shoson Nagahara, translated by Andrew Leong (Los Angeles: Kaya Press, 2012, 380 pp., $19.95, paperback) One unique new entry in the catalogue of the independent Asian American publisher Kaya Press is Andrew Way Leong’s edited and translated edition of Shoson Nagahara’s “Lament in the Night.” The volume, which won Leong […]

The life and times of a rookie LAPD beat cop

MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE By Naomi Hirahara (New York.: Penguin Press, 2014, 304 pp., $7.99, paperback) The streets of downtown are traversed by beat cop Ellie Rush, who travels by bicycle and serves as the main interface for the Los Angeles Police Department in the Central Division. In “Murder on Bamboo Lane,” author Naomi Hirahara […]

Stimulating an appreciation of America’s diverse history and cultures through preservation

HISTORIC WINTERSBURG IN HUNTINGTON BEACH By Mary F. Adams Urashima (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2014, 208 pp., $19.99, paperback) The most fitting way I can think of to begin this review of Mary Adams Urashima’s “Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach,” is to appropriate and slightly modify what the great American poet Walt Whitman said […]

Young love and bonsai hair

THE BONSAI BABES: A Love Story By Lora Nakamura (Los Angeles: Self published, 2013, 56 pp., $19.95, hardcover) Love comes in all shapes and forms, and Lora Nakamura examines the story of two young girls living in Los Angeles in what she describes as an art book drawn from her own experiences as an educator […]

A social and operational — though somewhat lacking — history of the 110th and 442nd

Going for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers in the War against Nazi Germany  By James M. McCaffrey (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013, 424 pp., $34.95, hard cover) With another book documenting the experiences of Nisei military participation during World War II, Dr. James McCaffrey’s “Going for Broke” attempts to re-narrate the perseverance, struggle, and triumph […]

Retracing two generations

ALLEGRO By Helene Honda (Pacific Grove, Calif.: Park Place Publications, 2012, 208 pp., $10, paperback) Helene Honda studied the violin at Julliard School of Music in New York during World War II and went on to become a professional musician on the Las Vegas strip in the 1970s. Now retired, she took to the collection […]

Korean ‘comfort women’ speak in defense of memorial in California

LOS ANGELES — Two Korean women have offered statements about their wartime experiences of being forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers, in support of the California city of Glendale which is fighting a lawsuit that seeks to remove a “comfort women” memorial in a city park. The Korean American Forum of California said July […]

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