Archives for January 2015

The ‘invented fiction’ of the model minority and the controversy behind the JA Creed

THE COLOR OF SUCCESS: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority By Ellen D. Wu (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014, 376 pp., $39.50, hard cover) SACRIFICING SOLDIERS ON THE NATIONAL MALL By Kristin Ann Hass (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013, 262 pp., $29.95, paperback)  These books by Ellen Wu and […]

THE KAERU KID: Iran and the Persian Empire

Editor’s Note: This is the third part of a series. We spent our last full day in Isfahan at the World Heritage Site Imam Square, the second largest square after Tiananmen in Beijing. This square is vastly more attractive, with grass, fountains, adjoining palaces, several mosques and enclosed bazaar shopping lanes. Shah Abbas chose Isfahan […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Beautiful heart

Happy new year! I would like to talk about a “beautiful heart.” 美しい (utsukushii) means “beautiful or attractive,” which consists of two parts. The top part represents the form of a beautiful ram and the bottom part is a person who is standing. Together, utsukushii is a beautiful or attractive person. 心 (kokoro) means “heart,” […]


The other day, I went to the theater to see “Top Five,” the new film written, directed by and starring Chris Rock. While it’s a very good film with many memorable moments, one scene really stuck with me. In it, Rock’s character is talking with Rosario Dawson’s character and she says she’s dated men from […]

Recovering a community’s rich history and identity

Japanese American Baseball in California : A History  By Kerry Yo Nakagawa (Charleston, S.C.: The History Press, 2014, 224 pp., $21.99, paperback)  One of the real pleasures of studying Japanese American history is a capacity for being endlessly surprised by the richness of the subject — I love discovering the unexpected paths that Nikkei communities and […]

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