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 […]

Fresh take on an old favorite

SIMPLY JAPANESE: MODERN COOKING FOR THE HEALTHY HOME By Yoko Arimoto (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2010, 160 pp., $27.95, hardcover) With her new book “Simply Japanese,” Yoko Arimoto injects a breath of modern air into traditional Japanese home cooking. While Japanese cooking is often considered to be somewhat time-consuming, given its focus on serving multiple smaller […]

Nikkei recalls imprisonment

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: My Life and Captivity in Iran By Roxana Saberi (New York: Harper, 2010, 321 pp., $25.99, hardcover) By trait, reporters are to remain objective in their pursuit of truth. What happens, then, when the journalist becomes the story? Multiracial Nikkei Roxana Saberi’s “Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran” provides […]

Journo sisters spill all

SOMEWHERE INSIDE: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home By Laura Ling and Lisa Ling (New York: William Morrow, 2010, 322 pp., $26.99, hardcover) At its heart, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home,” centers on relationships, namely that […]

Mean streets

TOKYO VICE: AN AMERICAN REPORTER ON THE POLICE BEAT IN JAPAN By Jake Adelstein (New York: Pantheon, 2009, 335 pp., $26.00, hardcover) Chasing stories for the world’s biggest newspaper was tough on Jake Adelstein. As a crime reporter for the Yomiuri Shinbun, he had his share of run-ins with yakuza thugs. Getting occasionally slapped around […]