UCLA’s Juzang could be first Asian American NBA lottery pick

INDIANAPOLIS — Johnny Juzang’s impact at UCLA has been immediate since he transferred from Kentucky, giving the Bruins the scorer and dynamic player they had been missing in recent years. The junior guard was playing his best at just the right time, leading the Bruins into the Final Four for the first time since 2008. […]

TAIKOPEACE: A movement for connection and community

Last year, San Jose Taiko’s artistic director emeritus and long-time community activist PJ Hirabayashi launched the Website for a movement she calls TaikoPeace. According to Hirabayashi, TaikoPeace is a movement of Japanese traditional drumming for social change and empowerment. Over the past couple of years, Hirabayashi has spread the movement through creating shared values, guided […]

A place to ‘share and embrace the Nikkei experience and culture’

GARDENA, Calif. — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, which hosts major events like the South Bay Day of Remembrance and the GVJCI Matsuri, is an institution that “holds the legacy of our pioneering Issei and Nisei, and what they sacrificed and worked so hard to build in hopes to preserve and promote the Japanese […]

CONTINUING TRADITIONS: The evolution of koto artist Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto is literally in the middle of three generations of a family of koto teachers. Rising through the ranks over the years, she was awarded her Dai Shihan master’s degree from the Chikushi Kai Koto School in Fukuoka, Japan in 2000, and was inducted into the Hokka Nichibei Kai Bunka (Japanese Culture) Hall […]

EXTENDING A LIFELINE: Japanese American Association of NY connects and serves community

Spotting the first daffodil leaves poking out of the ground this year brings an extra sense of hope to New York City, after an extremely trying 12 months. It is a promise that their playful yellow blooms will soon grace neighborhood parks large and small throughout the city, offering a reminder that spring always follows […]

Around the Tea Room: Tools of the trade

The following are some of the basic items we use in tea ceremony. There are many more items, and they can vary considerably by the tradition one practices, Omotesenke, Urasenke, Mushanokojisenke, etc. While I practice Omotesenke tea, I have also included a few examples from other schools. In most of the photos you can see […]

A gathering place for the Nikkei community in Canada

The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre’s origins date back to the Japanese Canadian redress movement. Originally named the National Nikkei Heritage Centre, it was created to be “a place where the community could … gather, be open for all and for greater society to engage with Japanese Canadians to understand and learn more about […]

Kimiko Side, 98, is Colorado’s queen of Japanese crafts

DENVER — Kimiko Side is a teacher and artist who’s leaving a huge cultural legacy for anyone in Denver who loves Japanese crafts. When she turned a spry 98-years-young last year, she was still driving herself to Pacific Mercantile, the Japanese supermarket in downtown Denver’s Sakura Square. For decades until the COVID-19 pandemic, she also […]

TAYLOR TAKAHASHI’S GOT GAME: JA goes from assistant to romantic lead

In the basketball movie, “Boogie,” the behind-the-scenes story of how Yonsei Taylor Takahashi goes from a personal assistant to a movie star — with zero acting experience and only three weeks to prepare — is just as interesting as the movie itself. Takahashi, a Bay Area native and basketball star at Alameda High, eventually becomes interested […]

S.F. J-Town restaurateur, performer Shogo Yamada dies

Shogo Yamada, a restaurateur who was also known for his love of singing, passed away March 26 after having been ill. He was 76. Yamada was first the owner of the Izumiya restaurant in the Kinokuniya Building in San Francisco’s Japantown. Combining his two passions, he opened YamaSho in 2010, a restaurant with private karaoke […]

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