The Heart of Kanji: Chikyu Ni Kansha: “Appreciate the Earth”

地 (chi) means ”ground.” The left side indicates soil and the right side indicates a moving snake. Together, these characters represent the uneven and changeable nature of the ground and the Earth. 球 (kyu) means “round ball” and this character represents its shape. 感 (kan) means “feeling.” The top lines indicate a fruit tree, the […]

The real deal on the first Japanese colony in the U.S.

The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm and the Creation of Japanese America By Daniel A. Métraux (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & LIttlefield, 2019, 158 pp., $85, hardcover) There are books that I feel all members of the Japanese American community should have in their personal library: Michi Nishiura Weglyn’s “Years of Infamy: The Untold Story […]

Layoffs by community legal center spark controversy

LOS ANGELES — The sudden decision by one of the nation’s leading Asian American civil rights and legal services organizations to lay off 19 of its employees on Oct. 7, because of what it stated was a financial crisis, has led to protests by the staff and former employees amid accusations that the organization had […]

Canadian architect says Japanese roots shaped his aesthetic

TOKYO — For Raymond Moriyama, an award-winning Canadian architect of Japanese descent, the lessons of culture and community he takes from his ancestry formed the foundation of his aesthetics and architectural designs. He often sought inspiration and solutions from childhood memories, including his days spent at an incarceration camp during World War II, when he […]

On healing the ache of the familiar

There is a particular ache that many Japanese Americans feel when we see images of our World War II mass incarceration, or “camp.” It’s a bittersweet struggle with recognition and connection across barriers of time and space. If the faces and settings are not our relatives, the chilling fact remains that they might be, or […]

Japanese American man found stabbed in Orange County dies

TUSTIN, Calif. — Detectives are searching for a murder suspect after a Japanese American man was found stabbed on a street in Tustin and later died, the city’s police department announced Dec. 10. The victim has been identified as David Nakaki, a 62-year-old resident of the neighborhood in Tustin where he was attacked at about […]

Wartime documents shed light on gov’t role in recruiting ‘comfort women’

TOKYO — The Imperial Japanese Army asked the government to provide one “comfort woman” for every 70 soldiers, according to documents reviewed by Kyodo News on Dec. 6 that shed new light on the wartime practice of forcing women into military brothels. The documents were collected by the Cabinet Secretariat between April 2017 and March […]

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 […]

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