Arts & Entertainment

Bio of Issei journo shines

A REBEL’S OUTCRY: BIOGRAPHY OF ISSEI CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER SEI FUJII (1882-1954) By Kenichi Sato (Los Angeles: Little Tokyo Historical Society, 2021, 231 pp., $60, hard cover) Prior to reading this book, my knowledge about prominent Issei lawyer/journalist Sei Fujii derived from two starkly contrasting experiences. The first of these was co-authoring with Ronald Larson […]

The gift of a smile

The Smile Shop Written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura (Atlanta, Ga.: Peachtree Publishing Company, Inc., 2021, 32 pp., $17.99, hard cover) A young boy stands on the sidewalk staring at his pocket money. He plans to buy himself something special. As he walks through the bustling marketplace, he is close to a food stall with […]

Life in the Tule Lake Stockade

TULE LAKE STOCKADE DIARY: NOVEMBER 13, 1943-FEBRUARY 14, 1944 By Tatsuo Ryusei Inouye (Los Angeles: Nancy Oda Publishing, 2020, 256 pp., $40, hard cover) There now exists a richly diverse number of publications devoted to the World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans generically called Tule Lake. This penal facility was initially known as […]

Shining inspirations

I Am Able to Shine By Korey Watari, illustrated by Mike Wu (Two Lions, 2022, 40 pp., $10.29, hard cover) This book was written about a Japanese American girl named Keiko who is very self-confident. She is determined to shine. “Her generous heart fills her with strength and purpose.” Her mother inspires her and Keiko […]

A celebration of community, multiculturalism through cuisine

Dumplings for Lili By Melissa Iwai (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2021, 48 pp., $17.95, hard cover) “Dumplings for Lili” is a heartwarming intergenerational story of heritage, culture and food. Lili is thrilled when her Nai Nai asks her to help make bao. The “bundles of warm, doughy, juicy yumminess” are Lili’s favorite food. […]

On cultivating an aesthetic

SIMPLICITY AT HOME: JAPANESE RITUALS, RECIPES AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR THOUGHTFUL LIVING By Yumiko Sekine and Jenny Wapner Photography by Nao Shimizu. (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2021, 224 pp., $27.50, hard cover) Yumiko Sekine shares a distinct aesthetic that blends Japanese simplicity with western influences and touches. While the book has recipes, it is best read […]

Bedtime hijinks

I Can Be Anything Written and illustrated by Shinsuke Yoshitake (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2020, 56 pp., $15.99, hard cover) The first thing that appealed to me about this book was the cute daughter and mother family. The main character is a little girl, Natsumi, who spends every day playing with her mother. Not wanting […]

BTS visits White House to discuss combating hate crime surge

WASHINGTON — K-Pop sensation BTS visited the White House on May 31 to talk with President Joe Biden about combating the rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans — bringing superstar sizzle to an otherwise sad and scary topic. Band members J-Hope, RM, Suga, Jungkook, V, Jin and Jimin joined White House press secretary Karine […]

Exhibit promotes ‘accepting’ Queer Nikkei in S.F.’s JA community

In December 2021, Elena Nielsen, a Japanese American Citizens League San Francisco chapter board member and Japantown Rainbow Coalition member, approached Tomo Hirai to help solicit support for the JACL’s LGBTQ Pride flag raising project. It will celebrate Pride next month in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza. In asking for support from the National Japanese […]

Japanese American seniors tell stories through film

In keeping with a long-standing tradition of Asian elders passing down their stories to their children and grandchildren, Visual Communications, a Los Angeles-based Asian American media arts center, created Digital Histories, a project that provides Asian Pacific American older adults the unique opportunity to tell their stories — as directors of their own short films. […]

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