Archives for January 2019

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Traditions: A vital component of family history

The new year celebrations are an opportunity to ensure that your traditions are passed down to your future descendants. Start by creating a journal or calendar of family events, keeping them organized chronologically. Do you celebrate Oshogatsu (Japanese New Year)? If so, how do you do that?

Little Tokyo supporters wary of rail construction, gentrification

LOS ANGELES — The Metro Regional Connector rail line, slated to run through Little Tokyo upon completion in 2021, has raised concerns among people who care about the ethnic Japanese enclave’s survival and want to protect the 134-year-old neighborhood from the negative effects of gentrification. Metro’s project, now under construction, will bring three new underground […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to pave the way for future Asian American films

It’s hard to deny that 2018 is a landmark year for Asian American representation in media. “Crazy Rich Asians,” the Asian American-directed, all-Asian cast-having feature film is the highest-grossing rom-com in a decade, proving the profitability of Asian faces on the big screen and essentially guaranteeing there will be more of them. Many Asian Americans […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Use your noodle … Again

I say again because after I started this column, I looked back at previous articles then realized I used the same title back in October 2009. So while the title is almost verbatim, I won’t plagiarize myself with the content. But noodles do play a traditional role during Oshogatsu, both before and after the turning […]

‘Finding wellness in one’s roots’

Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit By Candice Kumai (New York: Harper Wave, 2018, 336 pp., $29.99 hardcover) Candice Kumai is a well known wellness writer, chef, and content creator who has written a book that is a mixture of memoir, self-help and cookbook. Her recognized contributions to national wellness […]

Deconstructing intersections of Asian America

DRUMMING ASIAN AMERICA: TAIKO, PERFORMANCE, AND CULTURAL POLITICS By Angela K. Ahlgren (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, 198 pp., $34.95, paperback) Up until 2004, I was a mere (and rather unreflective) spectator to taiko drumming. However, that year I fortuitously became involved as an oral historian in a Japanese American National Museum-sponsored project that […]

The postwar shadow looms

LIFE AFTER MANZANAR By Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2018, 208 pp., $28, hardcover) In their new book, “Life After Manzanar,” Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist throw new light on the lives of Japanese Americans in the postwar era, tracing the experience of the former camp inmates through resettlement, the […]

Rediscovering Honouliuli and preserving former camp sites

A RESILIENT SPIRIT: THE VOICE OF HAWAI‘I’S INTERNEES Edited by Claire Sato and Violet Harada (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2018, 100 pp., $25, paperback) Having previously read with enjoyment and edification a trio of books published by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i — “Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment […]

Seeking a revolution

ASIAN AMERICAN MATTERS: A NEW YORK ANTHOLOGY Edited By Russell C. Leong (New York: Asian American and Asian Research Institute, The City University of New York, 2017, 256 pp., $25, paperback) “Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology” is a commemorative assembling of new, revised, and selected work from CUNY Forum, a journal established in […]

Histories of loss and leaving

SKY COUNTRY By Christine Kitano (Rochester, N.Y.: BOA Editions Ltd., 2017, 104 pp., paperback) Ithaca College professor Christine Kitano’s “Sky Country” is a thought-provoking collection of poems that speak to Kitano’s mixed Korean-Japanese background. She organizes her book of poetry thematically into five sections each interwoven with the personal and collective histories of Korean and […]

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