Canadian filmmaker explores a gap in family history

Filmmaker Natalie Murao contemplates the conversation she never got to have with her grandfather in “Blue Garden” (2022, 5 minutes). The hybrid-doc-animation tells the story of Murao’s grandfather, a Japanese Canadian fisherman who was incarcerated during World War II. The Vancouver-based filmmaker first thought about creating the film in 2020 after she returned home at […]

Takoyaki recipe たこ焼き

Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, is one of Japan’s best-known street foods that originated in Osaka. Whether you make a traditional style with bits of octopus or other alternatives, these ball-shaped dumplings are fun to make with your friends and family! Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is a Japanese snack in the shape of little round balls containing […]

‘Oyakodon’ captures a Japanese restaurant heartbreakingly on the brink

“Oyakodon” (2022, 17 min.), a short film directed by Roxy Shih, is a quiet and somber look at a Japanese restaurant in decline. Mama, the owner, opens up the dark eatery and puts out a sign with the day’s special, oyakodon, on the sidewalk outside. The titular dish is appropriate for the film: Oyakodon is […]

Texas mall victims include several members from two families

DALLAS — The people killed in a shooting at a mall near Dallas include two elementary school-age sisters, a couple and their 3-year-old son, a young engineer and a security guard. The victims represent a multicultural cross-section of the area’s increasingly diverse suburbs. Cox Elementary School students Daniela and Sofia Mendoza, grades four and two, […]

CAAMFest’s Rea Tajiri Retrospective screens three of this groundbreaking filmmaker’s art

The films of Rea Tajiri, including her latest documentary, “Wisdom Gone Wild” and her first avant garde film, “History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige,” as well as her co-written indie narrative film, “Strawberry Fields,” are not the product of a typical filmmaker or documentarian. These three films are being shown in CAAMFest’s Retrospective Spotlight, […]

SJ: Police arrest 3 East Bay men suspected in robberies targeting AAPI community

Three East Bay men have been arrested in connection with recent robberies targeting the Asian American-Pacific Islander community throughout the Bay Area, San Jose police said May 1. The trio, suspected in a string of armed and strong-arm robberies from December to February, were identified as 26-year-old Joel Contreras Barron of Antioch, 28-year-old Francisco Rincon […]

S.F.: Muni officials double down on intolerance for crimes on public transit

Muni officials have one message to people thinking about committing a crime on San Francisco’s public transit system — “you will be caught.” On April 25, city transportation officials hosted a Muni safety roundtable after a man was arrested and charged for allegedly throwing eggs and yelling racial slurs while riding a Muni bus. “We’re […]

California reparations panel OKs state apology, payments

OAKLAND, Calif. — California’s reparations task force voted May 6 to approve recommendations on how the state may compensate and apologize to Black residents for generations of harm caused by discriminatory policies. The nine-member committee, which first convened nearly two years ago, gave final approval at a meeting in Oakland to a hefty list of […]

SJ: Parks officials say 50 koi fish missing from Japanese Friendship Garden

Parks officials in San Jose said May 3 they are heartbroken after discovering that 50 koi fish were missing from the Japanese Friendship Garden. Parks officials said in a social media post that the theft of the colorful carp was reported to San Jose police. “The city is heartbroken at the disappearance of these beautiful […]

Securing the Seeds: Asian heirloom agriculture project needs help to cross the finish line

More than a decade ago, farmer Kristyn Leach found life-changing inspiration in the catalog for the Kitazawa Seed Company. Like countless other Asian American growers who have perused that catalog, she discovered rare seeds that called out to her, offering the promise of cultural connection through botanical stewardship. Unlike anyone else, however, she took that […]