Archives for 2020

OBITUARY: Lawson Iichiro Sakai

Lawson Iichiro Sakai Oct. 27, 1923 – June 16, 2020 SAKAI, LAWSON IICHIRO, born October 27, 1923, resident of Morgan Hill, California passed away peacefully on June 16, 2020. Lawson was born and raised in Montebello, California, moved to Colorado for a short time during WWII before enlisting in the army. He served in the […]

S.F. J-Town’s Buchanan Hotel hosting homeless people

As part of San Francisco’s emergency housing program that was implemented March 18, 27 hotels are currently under contract to host homeless people, Chandra Johnson, the director of communications for the San Francisco Human Services Agency, told the Nichi Bei Weekly via e-mail. One of the hotels is the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel on Sutter Street, […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: A global pandemic equals a family history opportunity

We certainly are living through unusual times. With the pandemic, most of us are still sheltering in place, wearing masks to the market, and desperately missing physical contact with our closest friends and extended family members. What’s interesting to me is that while many people are stressed with the changes, others are thriving. I’m a […]

DISSENT: A call for solidarity with Black-led fights for liberation

Policing is not a neutral institution. It protects the interests of those who have societal power, often at the expense of those who lack such power. We know this from our community experience as Japanese Americans. When Issei community leaders were rounded up after Pearl Harbor, when our families were forced to sell their property […]

NEW GENERATION, NEW NEEDS: Senior organizations on serving Sansei

When young Sansei came together to form senior service organizations in the 1970s, the organizations primarily served the elderly Issei, Japanese immigrants who otherwise did not have access to culturally sensitive services. Today, many Sansei are now coming of age to qualify for the services they set up, but their reliance on these services differ […]

Mourning from a distance comes at a cost: patience

The coronavirus pandemic has endangered the lives of millions worldwide, putting the elderly, in particular, at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website, eight out of 10 adults in the United States who have died from the virus were 65 years old or older. The pandemic has deprived families from being […]

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 […]

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