Archives for June 2015

Ei Ja Nai Ka: A ‘good’ taiko collaboration

SAN JOSE — Those planning to attend an Obon festival this year might experience “Ei Ja Nai Ka,” a unique and high energy taiko performance that combines song, dance, chanting, and of course, taiko drumming. The title, “Ei Ja Nai Ka,” literally translates to, “Isn’t it good?” or more directly, “It’s good!” The performance was created […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Dining in the past

The annual Obon season has started, when we dance, honor and remember those that have passed before us. The steady beat of the taiko (drum) perched on the yagura (tower) always takes me back to the past. Sometimes it’s back to Waimanalo, having a special roast beef dinner at Ojiichan and Obaachan’s house; that smell […]

OBITUARY: Marian ‘Kim’ Iida

IIDA, MARIAN “KIM”, 91, born August 16, 1923 and resident of El Cerrito, passed away peacefully on the morning of June 19, 2015. She was a unique and wonderful woman who spent her life devoted to her family. She worked at the California Tumor Registry, State of California for over 30 years. She was an […]

Activists claim discrimination and denial of service, call on bowling alley to apologize

A Bishop, Calif. business is backing out of its agreement to meet with Asian and Muslim American activists who claim they were discriminated against and denied service at a bowling alley April 25. Activists allege that they were denied service three times at Back Alley Bowling, Bar and Grill during the annual pilgrimage to the […]

OBITUARY: Ruby K. Hirashima

HIRASHIMA, RUBY K., 96, longtime resident of San Francisco, CA, passed away peacefully in her sleep the morning of June 16, 2015, in Redwood City, CA, with her loving niece Gail holding her hand. Ruby’s long and happy career at Koret of California as a Designer spanned 40 years before her retirement. Ruby was in […]

Nobuko Miyamoto’s creations add to SoCal Bon Odori

LOS ANGELES — Nobuko Miyamoto, singer, dancer and songwriter, has left a significant imprint on the local Obon celebration scene: Several of her songs will be performed by dancers this summer at Bon Odori throughout Southern California. Miyamoto, who danced and acted in the Oscar-winning film “West Side Story” and such Broadway hits as “The […]

Contemporary Bon Odori standardized in SoCal

LOS ANGELES – Summertime is the season for tens of thousands of Nikkei in Southern California to celebrate Obon, a traditional Buddhist event to honor and express gratitude to one’s ancestors for the gift of life. “Obon is the most important festival in the year cycle, it’s remembering the dead,” said the Rev. Masao Kodani […]

Where to buy a butsudan

Soko Hardware Butsudan; lacquered wood $570; $722.50 1698 Post St., San Francisco’s Japantown (415) 931-5510 Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nichi Bei Bussan Consigned butsudan $700 to $900 140 Jackson St., San Jose’s Japantown (408) 294-8048; Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 […]

Where to buy all-things Bon Odori

Soko Hardware Happi coats (Short work coat): Children’s: $37.50; Adults: Mostly around $46 Hachimaki (Headband): $4.10 Zori (Sandals) (Tatami): $10.20 Zori (Rubber): $22.50; $36 Tabi (Traditional Japanese socks): white; black: Sizes 7-12, including half sizes; $15 and $10.65; $25.50 Kachi kachi (Wooden castanets): (Red) $4.25; (Clam shape) $15.30, $16.15 Uchiwa (Round fans): $2.55, $3, $3.85 […]

LET’S TALK: About bayonets and blankets

Memories are tricky things. It’s always been important for me to ask people about their earliest recollections, especially about family. Some respond with certainty, others respond with doubts about the accuracy of their story. I’ve talked to adult siblings who recount the same event from childhood, each with a different spin on what “really” happened. […]

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