Archives for 2020

Activism and Ministry: Rev. Michael Yoshii plans retirement

The Rev. Michael Yoshii will retire at the end of the month after having spent 32 years serving as the Buena Vista United Methodist Church’s pastor. The 67-year-old spent most of his career at the Alameda, Calif. congregation. Known for his leadership in activism, Yoshii oversaw a historically Japanese American Christian church become more ethnically […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Honoring the ancestors

I pen this column having just returned from our annual sojourn during Memorial Day weekend taking Mom to various cemeteries to place flowers at the resting places of dear relatives. Our trip always follows the same pattern, starting at Honolulu Memorial Park, moving on to Nu’uanu Memorial Park then the National Memorial Cemetery of the […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: The lesson I learned at a Black Lives Matter Peace March in Osaka

On June 7, I participated in a Black Lives Matter Peace March in Osaka. The event was boosted by a retweet from tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, for which she took a lot of heat. But despite the polarizing nature of the event, I learned a lot, although the lesson I walked away with was not […]

The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great: The origins of the JACL’s advocacy for gay and lesbian rights

This year marks the 14th year that I have commemorated LGBT History Month with a reflection on the important but oft-unremarked presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in the history of Japanese Americans. It is with great pleasure that I devote this year’s queer history column to looking back at the latter […]

If you have relatives in a nursing home during pandemic, get them out, advise experts

The COVID 19 pandemic has laid bare the plight of U.S. seniors, who have been disproportionately infected and killed by the disease. Eight out of 10 COVID deaths in the U.S. are seniors, aged 65 or older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. Up to 70 percent of COVID hospitalizations are of […]

One injured in senior complex fire: Cause under investigation

One person was injured the evening of June 13 in a fire that was contained to the sixth floor of a senior housing complex at 1880 Pine St. near Japantown, a fire department spokesperson said. All floors of the center were evacuated after the fire was reported at 8:07 p.m. June 13. The one person […]

Kansen Chu in hot water over racially-charged remarks

Assemblymember Kansen Chu is facing backlash for racially charged remarks made to a Chinese language newspaper. Chu last week raised eyebrows when he abstained from voting on Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, a measure that allows voters to decide whether the state’s ban on affirmative action — which boosts hiring minorities and underrepresented communities — should […]

OBITUARY: Terri Higa

Terri Higa HIGA, TERRI, 64, Hawaii-born yonsei resident of Foster City, passed away suddenly May 5, 2020. Founder of Higa Automotive, Terri was a beloved mechanic to the Bay area API community for decades. A pioneer and leader in API LGBTQ organizations O-Musubi, APLBN and APIQWTC among others, Terri was a key participant in JACL’s […]

THROUGH YONSEI EYES: DEAR ASIAN AMERICANS: An open letter and guide-in-progress on being a productive ally to African Americans by a devastated and outraged Asian American

Are you also devastated and outraged? You should be. That’s just the start. So, what’s next? How can the Asian American community mobilize to be productive and supportive to the Black community right now? I’m not claiming to be a perfect ally/activist, or that this is the definitive guide to being an ally in 2020, […]

Efforts to support S.F.’s Japantown underway

San Francisco Japantown community leaders gathered May 27 for an online town hall meeting via the Zoom video chat application. Several organizations outlined their efforts to help Japantown through grants and programs designed to either aid small businesses and nonprofits, or attract customers to the ethnic enclave once shelter-in-place restrictions are relaxed. “A lot of […]

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