Archives for 2014

Let’s talk: About coping with cancer

The big “C” word. There was a time in the past when talking about cancer, even mentioning the word was taboo. People would often go into seclusion and cope with the illness alone or in the privacy of the family circle. Today, cancer is ubiquitous. I don’t know anybody that hasn’t been touched by this […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Divine arrangement

Happy New Year! Today I would like to talk about “Kami hakarai,” or divine arrangement. 神 (Kami) means “God/Divine Parent of the Universe,” and consists of two parts. The left side represents the divine altar and the right side represents lightning or thunder. Kami or God can create powerful things such as lightning and other […]

Honoring the once-silenced MIS veterans

Just one month before the United States and Japan formally declared war on each other, in November of 1941, the U.S. Army secretly enlisted Japanese American soldiers and trained them as military linguists. The Military Intelligence Service soldiers studied at the Presidio in San Francisco and at Camp Savage and Fort Snelling in Minnesota, before […]

Civil rights resistance at Tule Lake

Contemplating the loss of the South African leader Nelson Mandela and his courage in challenging and dismantling the racist system of apartheid — incarcerated for 27 years because he sought human and civil rights — I couldn’t help but think about how the Nikkei community treated its own civil rights heroes. Fred Korematsu and Gordon […]

Raising the Wintersburg Village banner

From a preservation blog title coined by journalist Mary Urashima that tracks its mounting advocacy campaign, “Historic Wintersburg” has become a familiar reference to a forgotten site in Southern California’s Orange County. Beyond protective chain-link fences, traces of the Wintersburg Village emerge to retell the history of a Japanese immigrant community that once encircled its […]

Stakeholders seek community consensus, trust in S.F. Japantown’s future

San Francisco’s Japantown is one of three remaining Japanese American ethnic enclaves in the United States. In its more than 100-year history, the Nikkei population in San Francisco’s Western Addition has survived two major social upheavals, the wartime incarceration and urban redevelopment. The JCHESS As a reaction to urban redevelopment in the 1960s through ‘80s, […]

C(API)TOL CORRESPONDENT: New year equals new political challenges for AAPIs

As 2013 comes to a close, 2014 promises to bring another political test for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The new year brings an election cycle that highlights the continuing political growing pains that all emerging communities face. In addition to the typical match-ups, this year AAPI candidates will be facing other AAPI candidates […]

A page-turner with a misleading name

JAPANTOWN: A THRILLER By Barry Lancet. (New York: Simon & Schuster, $16 pp., $25, 2013, hardcover) Jim Brodie juggles his life between taking care of his precocious 6-year-old daughter and managing both his late-father’s Brodie Security P.I. agency in Tokyo and his own antique shop in San Francisco, a self-described bull who owns a China […]

FULL COUNT: Are Rex Walters and the Dons tournament bound this year?

The University of San Francisco Dons Men’s Basketball team went into winter break with a winning yet disappointing 5-4 record for head coach Rex Walters, who began the season with his deepest squad since taking the reins in 2008 and early on looked like they could be serious contenders for the West Coast Conference crown. […]