Book Reviews

A Nisei’s path to pacifism

MY LIFE’S JOURNEY By Ted T. Tsukiyama (Honolulu, Watermark Publishing, 2017, 160 pp., $17.95, paperback) Ted Tsukiyama is a charter member of the Nisei, “the Greatest Generation.” Born in Hawai‘i in 1920, the son of shopkeepers, he was a student at the University of Hawai‘i when he was mobilized into the Hawaii Territorial Guard on […]

‘Jewel’ of a tribute to Heart Mountain

MOVING WALLS: THE BARRACKS OF AMERICA’S CONCENTRATION CAMPS By Sharon Yamato (Washington: National Park Service, 2017, 64 pp., $19.95, paperback) Sharon Yamato is truly a lovely person. She is also a lyrical writer, a seasoned journalist, a capable historian, a skilled interviewer, an accomplished curator and a talented filmmaker. The daughter of parents who were […]

Seeing through ‘Haiku Eyes’

WRITE YOUR OWN HAIKU FOR KIDS: SEE THE WORLD THROUGH “HAIKU EYES” By Patricia Donegan (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2018, 48 pp., $10.99, hardcover) Poetry has often gotten a bad rap among kids, much to the chagrin of nerdy teacher types like me. I’m always on the lookout for resources to make poetry and […]

Heart and courage: A Nisei veteran’s story

MASAO: A NISEI SOLDIER’S SECRET AND HEROIC ROLE IN WORLD WAR II By Sandra Vea (Seattle: DMA Books, 2016, 360 pp., $18.99, paperback) As a visit to almost any American new or used bookstore will quickly confirm, military history is an exceedingly popular genre of literature. This is particularly the case as it pertains to […]

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 […]

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