Arts & Entertainment

New online exhibition highlights LGBTQ Japanese American pioneers

A new online historical exhibition hosted by J-Sei aims to shake up the notion of who the Issei were by exploring queer Japanese Americans prior to 1945. Stan Yogi and Amy Sueyoshi, co-curators of the exhibit, discussed their efforts in an exhibit opening hosted via Zoom by J-Sei, a multi-generational Japanese American organization based in […]

Performing artists hopeful amid uncertain future and potential devastation

With theaters shuttered and live audiences reluctant to gather, the performing arts sector has suffered considerably since the pandemic has prompted most people to stay at home. For Asian Americans, the issue is no different, and some fear devastation if things do not improve. Ethnic Media Services reported that the arts sector has lost $12 […]

The Megumi Nishikura Story: Filming the distant dance of multiracial Japanese identity

To many in Japan, Megumi Nishikura doesn’t look like a Megumi. “People would assume that I was fully Japanese and when I would go meet them in-person they would do a double take,” Nishikura said. “They would be shocked that I look like I do and speak as well as I do, and when I […]

Claudia Kishi is the coolest girl in the club

I was 17 when I moved to Oakland, Calif. to attend college. Since I needed to supplement my work-study income, I went to check out the career center job bulletin board, which was shingled with index cards and Xeroxed fliers fringed with phone numbers to call. By pure stroke of luck, I was hired by […]

Miyuki’s lesson in mindfulness

Thank You, Miyuki Written by Roxane Marie Galliez, illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2020, 32 pp., $17.95, hard cover) “Thank You, Miyuki” is the third story in a series about ebullient Miyuki and her kind, caring grandfather. In this tale, Miyuki sees her grandpa doing tai chi and seated meditation. […]

A history book for our times

America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States By Erika Lee (New York: Basic Books, 2019, 432 pp., $32, hard cover) Erika Lee’s new book, “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States,” is one that speaks to our times. Well-respected among academics, Lee is among the foundational historians […]

Picture book about a beloved S.F. artist and arts activist

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa Written and illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino (Hudson, N.Y.: 2019, 40 pp., $17.95, hard cover) Andrea D’Aquino, artist and author, introduces young children to Ruth Asawa, a San Francisco institution. The author focuses on the influences that shaped and inspired Asawa’s unique artistry. It begins with […]

A visionary’s life intertwined with art

Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa By Marilyn Chase (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2020, 224 pp., $29.95, hard cover) Ruth Aiko Asawa, one of the most original and prolific artists of the American 20th century, left behind a stunning legacy when she died at age 87 in 2013. “Everything She Touched: The Life […]

A ‘dissatisfied’ artist’s life

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist By Adrian Tomine (Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2020, 168 pp., $29.95, hard cover) Cartoonist Adrian Tomine started writing, drawing and self-publishing his mini-comic, “Optic Nerve,” when he was still a teenager. Despite the odds, this fourth-generation Japanese American (his parents, who divorced when he was 2, are retired professor […]

The ABCs of cooking California-style Japanese food

Japanese Cookbook for Beginners: Classic and Modern Recipes Made Easy By Azusa Oda (Emeryville, Calif.: Rockridge Press, 2020, 146 pp., $16.99, paperback) With “Japanese Cookbook for Beginners: Classic and Modern Recipes Made Easy,” genius home cook and designer Azusa Oda has embraced the traditional Japanese flavors and dishes that she grew up with and recalibrated […]

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