A deep dive into the world of tsukemono

JAPANESE PICKLED VEGETABLES: 129 HOMESTYLE RECIPES FOR TRADITIONAL BRINED, VINEGARED AND FERMENTED PICKLES By Machiko Tateno (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2019, 144 pp., $16.99, paperback) There are many reasons why pickles are the “in” food, so it’s with great excitement that I review this new book that is sure to attract the attention of […]

Learning life lessons with Grandma

BA-CHAN THE NINJA GRANDMA: AN ADVENTURE WITH LITTLE KUNOICHI THE NINJA GIRL Authored and illustrated by Sanae Ishida (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2018, 32 pp., $16.99, hardcover) Here’s a ninja tale starring the adventures of little Kunoichi, released in 2018. This one pairs up “Ba-chan,” the “Ninja Grandma,” and her granddaughter. This is the third book […]

Examining the stratification of NYC’s Nikkei

DISTANT ISLANDS: THE JAPANESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN NEW YORK CITY, 1876-1930s By Daniel H. Inouye (University Press of Colorado: Louisville, Colo., 2018, 360 pp., $34.95, paperback; $27.95, Ebook) “Distant Islands: The Japanese American Community in New York City, 1876-1930s” by Daniel H. Inouye is one of the first books to devote in-depth research into this […]

An examination of racism in 1920s Hawai‘i’s society

RACED TO DEATH IN 1920s HAWAI‘I: INJUSTICE AND REVENGE IN THE FUKUNAGA CASE By Jonathan Y. Okamura (Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2019, 252 pp., $27.95, paperback; $99, cloth; $14.95, Ebook) A few years ago, I reviewed in these pages Jonathan Okamura’s book “From Race to Ethnicity.” I welcomed the chance to present to […]

Whirlwind tour through history

THE DISCOVERY OF ANIME & MANGA: The Asian Hall of Fame By Phil Amara and Oliver Chin, Illustrated by Juan Calle (San Francisco: Immedium, 2019, 40 pp., $16.95, hardcover) Phil Amara, Oliver Chin and Juan Calle’s third children’s book focuses on the history of Japanese anime and manga. Having previously done a bilingual history of […]

Making sense of JA millennials

Japanese American Millennials: Rethinking Generation, Community, and Diversity Edited by Michael Omi, Dana Y. Nakano and Jeffrey T. Yamashita (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2019, 301 pp., $39.99, paperback) As we welcome the year 2020, it should be abundantly clear that a younger generation known as millennials (for the purposes of this particular book, the editors […]

The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great: Chiura Obata: American illustrator

One area of United States culture in which Asian Americans have been able to make a substantial contribution is the visual arts. Yet visual artists and their production have remained fairly obscure in discussions of Asian American experience, at least as compared with literary creators and performing artists. To be sure, even compared with members […]

Rabbit Ramblings: Renewing the call to action in 2020

The year 2020 promises to be very eventful. Our community will be extra busy with many pilgrimages and activities planned, including a gathering in Washington, D.C. in June organized by Tsuru For Solidarity. Our goal is to get as many of us — American Japanese, camp survivors and descendants of camp inmates, plus anyone else […]

Let’s Talk … About Tsuru for Solidarity

In the fall of 2018, a small group of Nikkei in the Bay Area gathered to begin planning for a preliminary pilgrimage to Crystal City, Texas, a former Department of Justice camp where several of us had been held as children separated from our fathers during World War II. With the increasingly hostile and racist […]

The Gochiso Gourmet: Get the 4-1-1 on Japan’s alcoholic drinks

When I was first asked to review this book, I thought, “it should be pretty straightforward, as most of the book probably deals with sake,” and I recently studied for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 1 Award in Sake, so it shouldn’t take a lot of time describing sake production and sake-based […]

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