Archives for January 2020

The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great: Chiura Obata: American illustrator

One area of United States culture in which Asian Americans have been able to make a substantial contribution is the visual arts. Yet visual artists and their production have remained fairly obscure in discussions of Asian American experience, at least as compared with literary creators and performing artists. To be sure, even compared with members […]

Rabbit Ramblings: Renewing the call to action in 2020

The year 2020 promises to be very eventful. Our community will be extra busy with many pilgrimages and activities planned, including a gathering in Washington, D.C. in June organized by Tsuru For Solidarity. Our goal is to get as many of us — American Japanese, camp survivors and descendants of camp inmates, plus anyone else […]

Let’s Talk … About Tsuru for Solidarity

In the fall of 2018, a small group of Nikkei in the Bay Area gathered to begin planning for a preliminary pilgrimage to Crystal City, Texas, a former Department of Justice camp where several of us had been held as children separated from our fathers during World War II. With the increasingly hostile and racist […]

The Gochiso Gourmet: Get the 4-1-1 on Japan’s alcoholic drinks

When I was first asked to review this book, I thought, “it should be pretty straightforward, as most of the book probably deals with sake,” and I recently studied for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 1 Award in Sake, so it shouldn’t take a lot of time describing sake production and sake-based […]

The Heart of Kanji: Chikyu Ni Kansha: “Appreciate the Earth”

地 (chi) means ”ground.” The left side indicates soil and the right side indicates a moving snake. Together, these characters represent the uneven and changeable nature of the ground and the Earth. 球 (kyu) means “round ball” and this character represents its shape. 感 (kan) means “feeling.” The top lines indicate a fruit tree, the […]

The real deal on the first Japanese colony in the U.S.

The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm and the Creation of Japanese America By Daniel A. Métraux (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & LIttlefield, 2019, 158 pp., $85, hardcover) There are books that I feel all members of the Japanese American community should have in their personal library: Michi Nishiura Weglyn’s “Years of Infamy: The Untold Story […]

DISSENT: Stephen Miller’s white supremacy should alarm JAs

New ColumnPart of a host of new editorial features funded by a grant from The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, the Nichi Bei Weekly is proud to announce the launch of a new civil rights-oriented column, “Dissent,” written by New York-based ACLU attorney Carl Takei, a native of Sacramento, Calif. The Washington Post recently […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Once Upon a Time — Preserve your family history through storytelling

Family stories are just as important to your family history as names, dates and places. Perhaps they are even more important because the stories are what connect past generations to future ones. According to Aaron Holt, an archives technician at the National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas, “it only takes three generations to lose a piece of oral family history… it must be purposely and accurately repeated over and over again through the generations to be preserved for a genealogist today.”

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