Archives for January 2017

Former picture brides’ oral histories enlightens

PICTURE BRIDE STORIES By Barbara F. Kawakami (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2016, 408 pp., $39.99, cloth) “Soto Kimura’s story is typical of the stories of early Issei women. They arrived in Hawai‘i unprepared for the harsh realities that confronted them. The majority of them came with only a fourth-grade education from rural villages. Yet […]

‘Rare and enlightening addition’ to the ‘black hole’ of JA scholarship

THE LONG AFTERLIFE OF NIKKEI WARTIME INCARCERATION By Karen M. Inouye (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2016, 256 pp., $55, hardcover) Karen M. Inouye, a professor of American studies at the University of Indiana, has launched a new book that takes up a subject still relatively unknown, the long-term resonance of the wartime Japanese American […]

C(API)TOL CORRESPONDENT: AAPI political power on the rise in face of new threats

A few rays of hope for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders penetrated the dark shadow cast by hate crimes and the resurrection of the white supremacy movement following the presidential election in November. AAPI candidates won a historic number of races and broke new ground in communities where AAPI elected officials are few and far […]

Trying to regain hope in a time of fear and uncertainty

As the election polls started closing on Nov. 8, most of America was in a state of utter shock, as a presidential candidate who so easily stoked the flames of racism, sexism, xenophobia and misogyny was suddenly trust into the office of the presidency. A mere eight years after a movement for hope and change […]

San Francisco’s Japantown witnesses considerable turnover in 2016

Throughout 2016, San Francisco’s Japantown saw many changes. Several longtime businesses changed hands while others have taken over empty locations. As the changes affect Japantown’s landscape, some expressed wariness over the neighborhood’s future as well as pointed out the difficulties the ethnic enclave’s business owners currently face today. Unique New Businesses Richard Hashimoto, president of […]

‘Fresh’ history of Hawai‘i’s Nikkei is somewhat lacking

FROM RACE TO ETHNICITY: INTERPRETING JAPANESE AMERICAN EXPERIENCES IN HAWAII By Jonathan Y. Okamura (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014, 272 pp., $42, cloth) It is a somewhat curious fact that many of the people I have met on the mainland, Japanese Americans and others alike, seem rather uninformed about the Nikkei experience in Hawai‘i. (I […]

Let’s Talk: About unfinished business

A young man once told me about the time his father was facing a terminal illness. He had gathered his sons together before his last days to apologize for having been neglectful and abusive. At the time, the adult son felt relieved to finally hear his father take responsibility for the way he had treated […]

Numerous leadership changes at Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo nonprofits

LOS ANGELES — After a long period of stability, various nonprofit organizations in Little Tokyo have experienced significant leadership changes the past few years. Dean Matsubayashi took over at the Little Tokyo Service Center, Leslie Ito at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Mitchell Maki at the Go For Broke National Educational Center. […]

An ‘immersion’ into Terminal Island Nikkei lives

TERMINAL ISLAND: LOST COMMUNITIES OF LOS ANGELES HARBOR By Naomi Hirahara and Geraldine Knatz (Santa Monica, Calif.: Angel City Press, 2015, 288 pp., $35, paperback) As an oral historian, I have always been addicted to reading obituaries, especially those relating to the World War II Japanese American experience. For example, a recent transfixing obituary for […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Biracial MIS veteran Clarke Kawakami’s multifaceted legacy

Clarke Hiroshi Kawakami, a man who made his mark in many different fields, was born in Momence, Ill. in 1909. His mother was Mildred Clarke, a white American, and his father was the well-known Issei author and journalist Kiyoshi Karl Kawakami. Kiyoshi Kawakami was born in Yonezawa, Japan in the 1870s (most early sources claim […]

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