Archives for 2020

Karen Tei Yamashita’s invisible planet

Karen Tei Yamashita: Fictions of Magic and Memory Edited By A. Robert Lee (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2018, 216 pp., $72, hard cover) On the multi-tiered bookshelf that my father made for me decades ago, I have a weathered plain green advanced reading copy of Karen Tei Yamashita’s “Through the Arc of the Rain […]

On the Internet’s gender divide

Invisibility by Design: Women and Labor in Japan’s Digital Economy By Gabriella Lukács (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2020, 248 pp., $25.95, paperback) While it is too soon for a definitive history of social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, even a small-scale analysis of their effects can prime us for future studies of […]

Historian connects the links

Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad By Gordon H. Chang (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020, 320 pp., $16.99, paperback) One great treat amid the latest crop of historical books on Asian Americans is Gordon H. Chang’s “Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese […]

Before camp

A SCARF FOR KEIKO By Ann Malaspina; illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2019, 32 pp., $7.99, paperback) In this story, a young Jewish boy, Sam, fights conflicting feelings about his Japanese American classmate, Keiko, because of the raging war and the anti-Japanese sentiment pervasive in the community. He ignores Keiko because of another classmate […]

Yes, I can

Sumo Joe By Mia Wenjen, illustrated by Nat Iwata (New York: Lee & Low Books, 2019, 40 pp., $18.95, hard cover) This is a quick, fun look at a young girl, Aikido Jo, who wants to join the “boy only place” where her brother Sumo Joe and his friends are wrestling. She challenges her brother […]

Getting to know Japan’s weird side

Tokyo Geek’s Guide: Manga, Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, Toys, Idols & More By Gianni Simone (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 144 pp., $16.95, paperback) In the past two decades Japanese anime, manga, and gaming has gained worldwide popularity. This otaku culture has seeped into the mainstream and can be glimpsed all around Japan. “Tokyo Geek’s […]

A seminal and mesmerizing collection

The Swamp By Yoshiharu Tsuge (Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2020, 256 pp., $24.95, hard cover) I first got an inkling that Montreal, Quebec publisher Drawn and Quarterly was releasing exciting new work by Asian Americans with the 2018 release of Rina Ayuyang’s “Blame This on the Boogie,” building on a list that included English translations/reprints […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Summer downtime

It has been an eventful first half of the year to say the least. This year has been filled with one heartbreak after another, starting with those raging wildfires Down Under, followed by a global pandemic. And now the ongoing social issues that society never resolved during the ‘60s have only heightened with recent transgressions […]

OBITUARY: Rose Hanako Fujikawa Uyematsu

Rose Hanako Fujikawa Uyematsu March 2, 1935 – June 3, 2020 UYEMATSU, ROSE HANAKO FUJIKAWA passed away on June 3rd, 2020 at her home in Anaheim Hills, California.Rose was born on March 2nd, 1935 in Madera, California to parents, father Kiyozuchi and mother Yaye Kamimura Fujikawa. In the early 1900s, her parents immigrated to the […]

iPads for Issei, Nintendos for Nisei, and smartphones for Sansei

National Geographic recently named San Jose’s Japantown, located in Silicon Valley, one of the top 26 friendliest neighborhoods in the country. But within and surrounding this welcoming community many older adults are still socially isolated.  In fact, according to the AARP Foundation, one in five Americans 65 and older are socially isolated, which means “this […]

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