Book Reviews

Hope amid hardship

THE HOPE OF ANOTHER SPRING: TAKUICHI FUJII, ARTIST AND WARTIME WITNESS By Barbara Johns (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017, 352 pp., $39.95, hardback) This altogether beautiful book by noted Seattle-based art historian and curator Barbara Johns strikingly testifies to the oft-stated judgment that a picture is worth a thousand words. The core of “The […]

A Nikkei incarceration odyssey

AN INTERNMENT ODYSSEY: HAISHO TENTEN By Suikei Furuya (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2017, 416 pp., $26, paperback) The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i has been responsible — in part — for publishing three remarkable books: “Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei” (2008); “Family Torn Apart: […]

Late poet’s grace shines through tragedies

ARE YOU AN ECHO? THE LOST POETRY OF MISUZU KANEKO Test and translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi; illustrations by Toshikado Hajiri (Seattle: Chin Music Press, 2016, 64 pp., $19.50, hardcover) This is a sad and lovely story about a young poet and the legacy of her work. A poet named Setsuo […]

A flavorful take on ramen

SIMPLY RAMEN: A COMPLETE COURSE IN PREPARING RAMEN MEALS AT HOME By Amy Kimoto-Kahn (New York: Race Point Publishing, 2016, 176 pp., hardcover, $22.95 ) With the recent surge of ramen’s popularity, this book will interest any ramen fiend or foodie that’s ready to take on homemade (non-instant) ramen. In the words of a chapter […]

The art of sushi

SUSHI ART COOKBOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO KAZARI SUSHI By Ken Kawasumi (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 128 pp., hardcover, $18.95) If you are a serious foodie interested in food art or sushi, this book might be for you. But this book is definitely for you if you’re a chef or aspiring chef, or […]

Ramen history served up in bite-sized pieces

THE DISCOVERY OF RAMEN: THE ASIAN HALL OF FAME By Phil Amara and Oliver Chin, illustrated by Juan Calle (San Francisco: Immedium Publishers, 2017, 40 pp., hardcover) If you enjoy eating ramen, this colorfully illustrated book might provide tasty reading. This book is the first in “The Asian Hall of Fame” series, which will highlight discoveries […]

Finding the melody

HANA HASHIMOTO, SIXTH VIOLIN By Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Qin Leng (Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Kids Can Press, 2014, 32 pp.; $16.95, hardcover)
 Little Hana Hashimoto is going to play in the school talent show. Inspired by her grandfather, formerly a violinist with a symphony in Kyoto, she announces her debut after only three lessons. Her older […]

Recapturing and reinventing a young heroine’s Bay Area WWII-era memories

THE LITTLE EXILE By JEANETTE S. ARAKAWA (Albany, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 240 pp., $14.95, paperback) “The Little Exile” leaps off the page into a 1940s reel-to-reel, with the vivid descriptions of settings, facial cues, expressive emotions and live action that follows lead character Marie Mitsui. Each chapter has a song title of the era, […]

Making friends through paper art 


ORIGAMI PEACE CRANES: FRIENDSHIPS TAKE FLIGHT 
 Written and illustrated by Sue DiCicco (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 32 pp., 12 sheets of origami, $12.95, hardcover) This is an upbeat children’s book about making friends. When young Emma enrolls in a new school, she struggles with lack of self-confidence. Her classmates reach out to her, […]

A tapestry of trauma in Okinawa

IN THE WOODS OF MEMORY By Shun Medoruma, translated by Takuma Sminkey (Albany, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 2017, 208 pp., $16.95, paperback) “In the Woods of Memory,” written by Shun Medoruma, is a complex saga that surrounds two incidences that occur on a small island off the northwest coast in Okinawa in 1945 — the […]

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