Book Reviews

Uncovering the only voluntary work camp for Japanese inmates

IMPRISONED IN PARADISE: JAPANESE INTERNEE ROAD WORKERS AT THE WORLD WAR II KOOSKIA INTERNMENT CAMP By Priscilla Wegars (Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 2010, 357 pp., $19.95, paperback) Most people can barely pronounce Kooskia (KOOS-key), Idaho, let alone know what took place there during World War II. Priscilla Wegars brings to light what went on […]

Comprehensive volume counters the notion of a welcoming nation

ANGEL ISLAND: IMMIGRANT GATEWAY TO AMERICA By Erika Lee and Judy Yung. (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2010, 432 pp., $27.95, hard cover) Erika Lee and Judy Yung, both well known and respected in their own right as accomplished historians, have combined their research skills and writing talents in producing the most comprehensive and […]

Issei’s poetry book a familial work of art

At a glance, Shizue Harada’s life story is one that many Nikkei will find familiar: She immigrated from Japan to the United States in search of a better life, was incarcerated in a wartime American concentration camp, was a wife, mother and grandmother, and for many years worked as a seamstress. Harada documented a number […]

Author of ‘Kau Kau’ book on cuisine of Hawai‘i speaks in SF’s Japantown

On Aug. 8, more than 150 people gathered at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) in San Francisco’s Japantown to hear Arnold Hiura, author of “Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands,” give a lecture on Hawai‘i’s food. Part cookbook, part coffee table and history book, “Kau Kau,” released […]

A timeless tale of wartime loss — now a children’s book

In 1942, when Yoshito Wayne Osaki was forced into an American concentration camp along with some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, he and his family could take only what they could carry. For Osaki, this meant leaving behind his prized possession and best friend: his dog Teny. As his family set off for the camp, […]

BOOK REVIEW: Fragments of history and the fight for human rights

WHEREVER THERE’S A FIGHT: HOW RUNAWAY SLAVES, SUFFRAGISTS, IMMIGRANTS, STRIKERS, AND POETS SHAPED CIVIL LIBERTIES IN CALIFORNIA By Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi (Berkeley: Heyday, 2009, 512 pp., $24.95, paperback) In “Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California,” authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi take […]

BOOK REVIEW: Mixed Marriage in the WWII era: For better or worse

JAPANESE WAR BRIDES IN AMERICA: AN ORAL HISTORY By Miki Ward Crawford, Katie Kaori Hayashi and Shizuko Suenaga (Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers, 2009, 268 pp., $54.95, hardcover) This is an interesting collection of oral histories of 19 Japanese War Brides who share their reflections, perspectives and experiences before, during and after World War II. This […]

BOOK REVIEW: Bento boxes, cute and edible

Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches By Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa. (Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2010, 143 pp., $16.95, paperback) What do “Baby Bear,” “Fluffy Lamb,” “Hawaii Sun,” “Guardian Angel,” and “Beach Party Hot Dog” have in common? They’re all the given names of just a few of the particular bento types detailed […]

BOOK REVIEW: Images of camp, what remains

PLACING MEMORY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF JAPANESE AMERICAN INTERNMENT By Todd Stewart, Essays By Natasha Egan and Karen J. Leong. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, 121 pp., $34.95, hardcover) “Placing Memory” is a wonderful and welcome addition to the existing body of photographic works capturing images of Japanese Americans’ concentration camp experiences. Stewart’s work […]

BOOK REVIEW: Kashiwagi’s perspective, style shines

OCEAN BEACH By Hiroshi Kashiwagi (San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc., 2010, 98 pp., $12 paperback) For more than half a century now, Hiroshi Kashiwagi has been quietly building himself an eclectic and accomplished artistic career as a poet, playwright and performer. With the recent publication of his first collection of poetry, “Ocean […]