GOCHISO GOURMET: Taking the path less traveled

For most of my almost five decades here on this orb, I’ve always cooked rice one way — the old school way, in a traditional cast aluminum rice pot over a stovetop burner. The rice was never measured in a special rice cup; you always knew exactly what level of rice produced three cups of cooked […]

Glendale, Calif. school introduces Japanese language program

GLENDALE, Calif. — On any given day, some 70 students at Glendale’s Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School can be found engaged in their studies, with the youngest among them learning basic lessons about fruits and vegetables. Unlike the majority of their peers across the nation, however, these students are being instructed in Japanese. The school introduced […]

The secret life of trees: Ayako Harashima’s ‘Portraits of Nature’ at the Berkeley Public Library

Rolling hills, brown fields, clusters of light-dappled olive trees and not much else surround a medieval church in rural San Galgano, Italy. For a year, Ayako Harashima and 12 other artists lived in the church, entirely removed from society, with only the barest necessities. They would occasionally make the hour-and-a-half walk through the woods and […]

$50K reward offered for Ashley Yamauchi murder case

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved the offer of a $50,000 reward in the Ashley Yamauchi homicide — which officials hope will provide new information that will lead to an arrest — a statement issued by the San Rafael Police Department in December 2010, said. The partially clad body of Yamauchi was […]

House resolution honors Mineta

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1377 to honor the life achievements of Norman Y. Mineta on Dec. 17. Rep. Michael Honda and Rep. Judy Chu co-authored the resolution to honor the former San Jose Mayor, Congressman, and Presidential Cabinet member for two Presidents. Mineta’s associates praised his prominence as a role model and […]

Go macro like Madonna

MAYUMI’S KITCHEN: MACROBIOTIC COOKING FOR THE BODY AND SOUL By Mayumi Nishimura (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2010, 160 pp., $29.95, hardcover) Macrobiotic lifestyles have steadily become popular and mainstream over recent years thanks to Hollywood stars, who rave of their benefits. As Madonna’s personal macrobiotic chef for seven years, Mayumi Nishimura is an expert at creating […]

Hard luck Himiko

ANSHU: DARK SORROW By Juliet S. Kono (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 2010, 327 pp., $18.00, paperback) Being a historian, like other callings, carries its occupational diseases. To be sure, I do not face the same hazards as, say, a coal miner. Instead, my curse is that I am unable to take in historical novels or […]

API writers connect through the power of poetry

No Choice but to Follow Linked poems by Jean Yamasaki Toyama, Juliet S. Kono, Ann Inoshita and Christy Passion (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 2010, 149 pp., $20, paperback) Four poets committed 48 weeks in 2008 to composing linked poems, in part, in celebration of Bamboo Ridge Press’ 30th anniversary. The culmination of Jean Yamasaki Toyama, […]

The skin of a killer

VILLAIN By Shuichi Yoshida (New York: Pantheon, 2010, 295 pp., $25.95, paperback) At first glance, Yoshida’s story of a murder mystery seems like an open-and-shut case. The story sounds predictable and sometimes even clichéd. The “who dunnit?” feel pours over the pages and lets the reader wait for the inevitable twist end; however, the twists […]


A COOK’S JOURNEY TO JAPAN   By Sarah Marx Feldner (Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2010, 160 pp., $27.95, hardcover Sarah Marx Feldner had just finished college with a bachelor’s in Spanish and applied linguistics when she decided to take a job in Japan. There, she was first introduced to Japanese culture and its food. A few […]

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