Archives for June 2023

‘Celebrating activism and community’ is theme of 50-year CANE anniversary on Aug. 19

Anti-eviction protests by Japantown activists and residents to be commemorated In 1975 and 1976 in San Francisco, members of the Committee Against Nihonmachi Eviction (CANE) — tired of seeing residents and small businesses being ignored and disrespected by the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) — staged sit-ins at the Mayor’s office and at the RDA office in […]

Japanese knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida plays on her own ‘Field of Dreams’

OYAMA, Japan — Eri Yoshida sat in the dugout of an all-dirt baseball field in rural Japan, surrounded by rice paddies, narrow roads, and traditional Japanese houses. The scene recalled instantly the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” — Asian style — and Yoshida certainly has her own. The 31-year-old Japanese woman is a knuckleball pitcher […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: LGBTQ+ genealogy – Be proud of your ancestors

“All genealogists strive to reconstruct family histories or achieve genealogical goals that reflect historical reality as closely as possible.1” We gather data, evaluate and analyze information, and often, we tell a story. We try to avoid bias, prejudice and presentism. Identifying LGBTQ+2 ancestors and telling their stories is no different from sharing the information of […]

Speakers share stories of personal transformation at commencement

SF State “can be your rock,” said Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO of cloud networking company Arista Networks, at the May 26 event. San Francisco State University celebrated the class of 2023 at its annual commencement ceremony Friday, May 26, at Oracle Park. More than 4,000 graduates and more than 31,000 people attended the event, […]

Chef Masaharu Morimoto cooks up a reality sushi show

Masaharu Morimoto is an icon best known as a perennial presence on “Iron Chef America” and in Japan, on the original “Iron Chef” program. Now, he’s on screen as a judge of a new series streaming on Roku, “Morimoto’s Sushi Master,” with co-host Lyrica Okano, that continues Morimoto’s knack for embracing new tastes and forms […]

Alameda library commemorates Japantown that once was

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The crowd was overflowing out of the Alameda Free Library’s Stafford Community Room May 17 for “Overflowing With Hope: The Hidden History of Japanese Americans in Alameda.” The exhibition documenting the now-gone but not forgotten Alameda’s Japantown reflected on the community’s three-year efforts to preserve its history for a future generation. “The […]

Fifty+ years in the dance circle: Fumiye Nancy Shibata

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by BCA Wheel of Dharma. Fumiye Nancy Shibata studied with Mitsusa Bando, established the tradition of coordinating dances in the Buddhist Churches of America’s Southern District, and taught Bon Odori in Los Angeles and Orange County for approximately sixty years. Nisei couple Kango and Yoshiye Naito ran a […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Obon food memories

One of my enduring food memories of Obon season on Maui was consuming chow fun from conical shave ice cups every summer. Although I was raised and primarily resided on O‘ahu, Mom grew up in Wailuku, Maui until she moved to O‘ahu, then Indiana for college. And because she was a teacher, she had every […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: 50 years after ‘Coda’s’ debut centering a queer romantic triangle

This column forms part of a series on the Queer history of Japanese Americans that I publish each June to mark LGBT Pride month. This year’s installment discusses Alberto Isaac’s one-act play “Coda,” first performed in 1973. With nice symmetry, my column on it stands as something of a coda to a previous story told […]

New minister finds parking spot in San Francisco

Although only a week into her new job, the Rev. Melissa Opel was busy acclimating to her position at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. As expected of any minister at a church, she manages the sermons and services expected of her, but what most people might not realize is everything else she has to […]