Archives for 2018

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The grain that binds us

What is the one constant not just during Oshogatsu but throughout the whole year? It’s not toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles), which is usually only consumed right before the turning of the new year. Sure, we may consume soba during the year, but not with any regularity. And it’s not lobster or shrimp that symbolizes a […]

C(API)TOL CORRESPONDENT: AAPIs are making it to the political playoffs, but can they win the championship?

Strong history-making electoral victories in recent months continue to show that Asian American and Pacific Islanders are not a fly-by-night phenomenon in the political arena. Last month, Manka Dhingra won a heavily-contested state Senate seat in Washington that flipped the chamber to Democratic control. In Virginia, Kathy Tran became the first Vietnamese American elected to […]

Recapturing and reinventing a young heroine’s Bay Area WWII-era memories

THE LITTLE EXILE By JEANETTE S. ARAKAWA (Albany, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 240 pp., $14.95, paperback) “The Little Exile” leaps off the page into a 1940s reel-to-reel, with the vivid descriptions of settings, facial cues, expressive emotions and live action that follows lead character Marie Mitsui. Each chapter has a song title of the era, […]

Making friends through paper art 


ORIGAMI PEACE CRANES: FRIENDSHIPS TAKE FLIGHT 
 Written and illustrated by Sue DiCicco (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 32 pp., 12 sheets of origami, $12.95, hardcover) This is an upbeat children’s book about making friends. When young Emma enrolls in a new school, she struggles with lack of self-confidence. Her classmates reach out to her, […]

A tapestry of trauma in Okinawa

IN THE WOODS OF MEMORY By Shun Medoruma, translated by Takuma Sminkey (Albany, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 2017, 208 pp., $16.95, paperback) “In the Woods of Memory,” written by Shun Medoruma, is a complex saga that surrounds two incidences that occur on a small island off the northwest coast in Okinawa in 1945 — the […]

Complicat(i)ng the ‘mosaic’ of history

THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY Edited by David K. Yoo and Eiichiro Azuma (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, 544 pp., $150, hardcover) This impressive volume, published at the semi-centennial of Asian American studies, serves admirably as an authoritative marker of Asian American history’s coming of age. Edited by two stalwarts in the […]

Sakura Grove to bloom in Sacramento’s Southside Park

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hanami, or flower viewing, is the Japanese tradition of gathering under sakura (cherry blossom) trees to enjoy the annual spring blossoms with friends and family. In Japan, people travel from all across the country to experience hanami in various regions. Cherry blossom trees can be viewed in a few places in the […]

In pursuit of a ‘whole and free’ society

FREEDOM WITHOUT JUSTICE: THE PRISON MEMOIRS OF CHOL SOO LEE Edited by Richard S. Kim (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2017, 323 pp., $19.99, paperback) I grew up in a law-and-order family. There was no contradiction between my parents’ experience of the Japanese American incarceration, and their fundamental respect for the U.S. criminal justice system. […]

Website project seeks to uncover the stories within ‘50 Objects’

A comic book, a Bible, a homeplate, a chair. These may seem like curious, even random, objects to explore the culture and history of America’s concentration camps. Yet each is a portal into someone’s life containing multiple narratives about a tangible thing that is part of our communal memory. Many of our family objects from […]

San Francisco’s Japantown plans for preservation

San Francisco’s Japantown experienced several notable changes in 2017 and aims to implement and secure resources for the continuity of one of the nation’s last three historical Japantowns. As the ethnic enclave moves forward into 2018, several organizations based in the neighborhood must seriously consider their mission and focus for the coming years. New Organization […]

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