Archives for March 2023

‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ blasts into theaters with more action than ever

No one watches Keanu Reeves’ “John Wick” franchise films expecting artistic depth and thoughtful social commentary. Nevertheless, those components are actually in each movie, in a subtle way, as motivators for Reeves’ character. But let’s face it, people don’t care about his sensitivity. They watch him play the soft-spoken assassin for non-stop action and eye-popping […]

Odori ‘rock star’ Fujima Kansuma dies at 104

LOS ANGELES — Fujima Kansuma, the legendary Japanese dancer who taught thousands of students in a career that spanned nearly eight decades, died on Feb. 22 at 104. Miyako Tachibana, Kansuma’s daughter, who took over her mother’s teaching duties, stated via e-mail that when her father died when Tachibana was 12 years old, “my mother […]

Miyano dances her way to a dream with the Warriors

Two years ago, Mari Mino wanted to try out for the Golden State Warriors Gold Squad dance team. She prepared from Japan by improving her dance and English-speaking skills and training. Now, the first-year team dancer is living out her dream of dancing for the defending NBA champions. “I’m really thankful and grateful to dance […]

‘Dancing Moons Festival’: A celebration of AAPI artistic vision in ballet

“Dancing Moons Festival,” hosted by the Oakland Ballet for the second year in a row, opened March 17, in collaboration with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. The program features dances choreographed by all-Asian American Pacific Islander choreographers, and the world premiere of “Exquisite Corpse,” a merged ballet program co-choreographed by Phil Chan, Seyong Kim and […]

BACK IN THEATERS: 12th annual Films of Remembrance

Following two years of online-only programming, the Nichi Bei Foundation held its 12th annual Films of Remembrance film series in person at the AMC Kabuki 8 in San Francisco’s Japantown Feb. 25 and the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin in San Jose’s Japantown Feb. 26. According to Kenji G. Taguma, president of the Nichi Bei […]

Japanese Americans protest a wind project near the Minidoka site

Advocates say 400 turbines will threaten the sanctity of the historic Idaho location that served as an incarceration camp during WWII Mary Abo is in her 80s now, but can recite her childhood address on command: block six, barrack four, apartment C. Abo is a survivor of Minidoka, one of several camps that the U.S. […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Have Faith: The role of religion in JA genealogy

“Religion is the service and worship of God or the supernatural.”1 Introduction Whether you are a devout Christian or a practicing Buddhist, an agnostic or atheist, deeply religious or moderately spiritual, the role of religion in your current life may differ from that of your immigrant ancestors. Some form of religion is likely part of […]

Japanese beating Americans in baseball is must-see viewing

TOKYO — Japanese television stuck to its live coverage from Miami for almost two hours after Japan defeated the United States 3-2 to win the World Baseball Classic. This was must see viewing — over and over and over. Shohei Ohtani striking out Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout on a pitch away to end […]

A new generation of leaders vying for queen

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program presented its 2023 queen candidates during its virtual preview press conference March 15 over Zoom. The program, a highlight of the city’s annual cherry blossom festival, will take place April 8 at the Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason. The candidates are: Samantha Michiko Teshima, Maya Isaka, Emily […]

Child suicides in Japan hit record high of 514 in 2022

TOKYO — A record 514 children attending elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan died by suicide in 2022, topping the previous high of 499 seen in 2020, government data showed March 14, with the upward trend apparently fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. Suicides among females also increased for the third straight year, rising […]