Archives for 2021

OBITUARY: Michael Masao Shiro

Michael Masao Shiro Sept. 23, 1962 – Oct. 22, 2021 SHIRO, MASAO died peacefully on October 22nd, 2021 at the age of 59 with his beloved girlfriend of 26 years, Karen Desouza and his mother, Chizuko Shiro at his side in Corte Madera, CA where he was born on September 23, 1962. Michael is survived […]

Vaccines, masks? Japan puzzling over sudden virus success

TOKYO — Almost overnight, Japan has become a stunning, and somewhat mysterious, coronavirus success story. Daily new COVID-19 cases have plummeted from a mid-August peak of nearly 6,000 in Tokyo, with caseloads in the densely populated capital now routinely below 100, an 11-month low. The bars are packed, the trains are crowded, and the mood […]

Grandma’s gift

Shinayo Mori, my grandma, was born in 1899, outside the city of Hiroshima. She arrived in Honolulu as a shy, introverted picture bride at age 17. Her marriage was arranged by her parents and uncle. The groom would later be my grandfather, Shinichi Mori. I was stung by her death in 1990. She had been fighting […]

Statement from former CANE members on the sale of the Buchanan Hotel in S.F. Japantown

The Committee Against Nihonmachi Eviction (CANE) 50th Anniversary Committee formed ten months ago to commemorate CANE’s fight to preserve San Francisco’s Japantown and to share this history with future generations. Coincidentally our committee’s work is taking place during intense community discussions about the future of the Buchanan Hotel site and Japantown as a whole. Even […]

Ohagi (Botamochi) おはぎ (ぼたもち)

Made with glutinous rice and red bean paste, these Japanese sweet rice balls are offered to one’s ancestors and eaten during the spring and autumn equinoxes in Japan. They are called botamochi in spring and ohagi in autumn. Growing up in Japan, I remember we had a lot of cultural, seasonal and sometimes religious celebrations […]

Community laments the pending closure of the Moraga Garden Center

MORAGA, Calif. — Fifty years on, the Moraga Garden Center plans to close its doors Oct. 31 after its owner Kenneth “Kenny” Murakami announced his retirement earlier this year. The nursery, a beloved institution for Moraga community gardeners, sells hard to find plants. Murakami said his father, Nadao “Bob” Murakami, started the nursery in 1971. […]

Unearthing a monumental controversy: Removal of memorial to Topaz shooting victim enrages community

Japanese American community members — including wartime incarceration survivors, their descendants, and allies — are outraged that a monument memorializing an Issei prisoner shot and killed in the wartime Topaz (Central Utah) concentration camp by a United States Army sentry was unearthed this summer from the site of his death near the camp’s security fence […]

Boston getting mayor of color as Wu, Essaibi George advance

BOSTON — For the first time in 200 years, Boston voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color who will face off against each other in November. City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George topped the five-person race in the Sept. 14 preliminary runoff. They bested acting Mayor Kim […]

S.F.: Man arrested for series of hate crimes, robberies against Asian females

San Francisco Police officers arrested a man linked to seven robberies and hate crimes against Asian women, police announced Oct. 5. Over the course of six months, 20-year-old O’Sean Garcia allegedly targeted Asian women in the city’s Bayview and Ingleside neighborhoods. In the latest incident, reported on September 21, Garcia and another suspect allegedly took […]

S.J. formally apologizes to Chinese community for its history of anti-Chinese policies and discrimination

“This is a resolution of the Council of the City of San Jose apologizing to Chinese immigrants and their descendants for acts of fundamental injustice and discrimination,” Mayor Sam Liccardo read to the dozens of Chinese Americans, allies and public officials gathered in downtown on Sept. 29. The resolution, passed unanimously by the city council […]

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