First of 10 public artworks along future Central Subway line installed

With construction on San Francisco’s Central Subway expected to be completed next year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced this week that the first piece of public artwork along the line has been installed. The piece, called Microcosmic, is a stainless steel wind-activated kinetic sculpture mounted on a 40-foot light pole near Fourth and […]

Asian Americans, other minorities still underrepresented in voter rolls

More than 3 million additional Californians will be able to cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential primary thanks to a groundswell of interest that has built up over the past three years. But voting rights activists are still worried about the persistent, and in some cases extremely large, gaps in voter participation based on […]

Wat Misaka, who broke professional basketball’s color barrier, dies

Wataru “Wat” Misaka, the first person of color to play in professional basketball when he broke the color barrier in 1947, died Nov. 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 95. A 5-foot-7-inch guard, Misaka was a legend on the basketball court. He led Weber Junior College to two ICAC junior college titles in […]

‘Ultimate volunteer,’ JACL’s Greg Marutani, dies

Greg Marutani, 72, of San Francisco, died Nov. 27, 2019, the Japanese American Citizens League said in a statement. The civil rights organization recognized the longtime chair of their National Education Committee at the 2019 JACL Convention in Salt Lake City. “Marutani was instrumental in training hundreds of teachers on how to utilize the story […]

OBITUARY: Misao Otsuki

OTSUKI, MISAO, 92, passed away peacefully at her home in San Francisco on October 22, 2019. She was born in 1926 in Turlock, California to Yonehichi and Suye Sugiura, the second of eight children. In 1942 at the start of WWII her family was sent to the Amache Internment Camp in Colorado. There she met […]

Kokoro Cares: Providing tasty Japanese care packages

In 2016, Lillian Rowlatt and Aki Sugiyama met for dinner through a mutual friend while they were both working in finance in Tokyo. With passions for health, wellness and fitness, the two women discussed the importance of food, including its community aspect and the significance of sharing a meal with family and friends. The dinner […]

Akashi-Kama: A mixture of Japanese aesthetic and modern American streetwear

It took a trip to Japan to inspire Alec Nakashima, a former product manager for a tech company, to create a clothing brand that reflects his identity: feeling both Japanese and American. Nakashima went on the Japanese American Citizens League’s Kakehashi grassroots exchange program to Japan in March 2018. He was in awe of the […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Yoichi Hiraoka: International musical star

Yoichi Hiraoka was an internationally renowned xylophone virtuoso, one who helped popularize the xylophone as an instrument for both classical and popular music. Through daily radio performances and live concerts, he became the most celebrated Nikkei musician in the United States during the 1930s. However, even his fame did not save him from being targeted […]

SJ: Fire destroys garage, RV but nearby houses spared

A garage and an RV were destroyed the night of Nov. 17 in a fire just south of San Jose’s Japantown, the San Jose Fire Department said. The fire was reported about 6:45 p.m. Nov. 17 in the 400 block of North Fifth Street near Empire Street. The initial call was for an RV on […]

LETTERS: MIS veteran’s son responds Tule Lake apology

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent in response to a column that appeared in the Oct. 24, 2019 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly (“RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Dear JAVA, where is your sense of compassion and understanding?” by Chizu Omori). Dear Editor: I felt compelled to respond to Chizu Omori’s letter to JAVA. I am […]

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