Archives for 2021

THE HEART OF KANJI: Our life is for planting seeds of smiling or laughter

人 represents a person standing and the character 生 represents a sprout growing in soil. 笑顔 (Waraigao) means “a smiling or laughing face.” 笑 represents bamboo and a person who is laughing, like bamboo playfully moving back and forth. é¡” represents a person’s hair and head. 種 (Tane) means “seed.” This character indicates a rice […]

A ‘community study’ of Minidoka

AN EYE FOR INJUSTICE: ROBERT C. SIMS AND MINIDOKA Edited by Susan M. Stacy (Pullman, Wash.: Washington State University Press, 2020, 246 pp., $21.95, paperback) During the May 1995 symposium that Mike Mackey organized in Powell, Wyo. on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans at the nearby Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Mackey toured Bob Sims […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The new normal

From raging wildfires in both the Golden State and Down Under, racial tensions that erupted into massive civil unrest not seen since the 1960s, an ongoing pandemic and a divided country whose issues aren’t about to resolve anytime soon, the turning of the Year of the Rat could not have come any sooner, and I’m […]

Ambitious, emotionally raw novel on camp

WE ARE NOT FREE By Traci Chee (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020, 400 pp., $17.99, hardcover) Yonsei author Traci Chee’s ambitious new novel, “We Are Not Free,” weaves 13 devastating stories of San Francisco Japantown Nisei reeling in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Immediate, personal and pulsing with drama, the book takes […]

Academic calls for Latinx and Asian Americans to transform the nation

GIVING FORM TO AN ASIAN AND LATINX AMERICA By Long Le-Khac (Redwood City, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2020, 264 pp., $28, paperback) Since 2000, the Asian American population in the United States has grown to nearly 20 million. At this rate, according to the Pew Research Center, by 2055, Asian Americans will be the largest […]

Inmates’ historical narratives for the layperson

REMEMBERING OUR GRANDFATHERS’ EXILE: US IMPRISONMENT OF HAWAI‘I’S JAPANESE IN WORLD WAR II By Gail Y. Okawa (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2020, 272 pp., $26, paperback) Back in 1980, very little had been written about the World War II imprisonment experience of more than 5,500 Japanese American aliens (Issei) within the hodgepodge of 24 […]

Systemic racism, generational trauma and familial conflicts collide

MASS MURDER IN CALIFORNIA’S EMPTY QUARTER: A TALE OF TRIBAL TREACHERY AT THE CEDARVILLE RANCHERIA By Ray A. March (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2020, 240 pp., $27.95, hard cover) Some in the Nikkei community have wondered why the Tule Lake Committee is feuding with an Indigenous tribe. Some have commented that it looks […]

LASTING COMMITMENTS: Genki Aging, Sharing important knowledge and Prop.19

(Editor’s note: The following article was co-written with Martha Bridegam, an attorney with the firm.) Finding purpose is what it’s all about as we age. All of us have the potential to become powerful storytellers and information sharers as we age because we have more life to share and more advice to impart. As we […]

NIKKEI Q: The pronoun revolution

In January 2016, more than 300 linguists, lexicographers, grammarians and etymologists — all members of the 127-year-old American Dialect Society — gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. where members honored “they” as the 2015 word of the year. The anointment was more than an obscure event held by word nerds, but instead indicated […]

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