THE HEART OF KANJI: Take care of yourself

自 (Ji) means “yourself.” This character represents a person’s nose. In Japanese culture, people point to their nose when they say “me or myself.” 分 (Bun) means “a part of.” The top part of this word represents two pieces, and below this symbolizes a knife. Together, this character shows that our life was divided from […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Akira Kikukawa and the Japanese American orchestra

(Editor’s note: The following article was co-written with Jonathan Van Harmelen). Some time ago, Jonathan van Harmelen and I wrote a column about the pioneering Japanese xylophonist Yoichi Hiraoka. In the course of our research, we found that in 1970 Hiraoka had performed a concert in Southern California with an orchestra of which neither of […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: When the livin’ is easy

I don’t think George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward envisioned a summer like this, though the tension in “Porgy and Bess” does mirror some of the social discord in the country. Between proliferating viruses and ongoing racial tension, you almost forget that it’s summer when we’re usually carefree and full of merriment. But even with social […]

The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great: The varied responses of American Anabaptists to the mass confinement of Japanese Americans during WWII

Editor’s Note: This column was co-written by Zacharie Leclair. In his 1981 master’s thesis, “The Response of the Historic Peace Churches to the internment of the Japanese Americans during World War II,” scholar Charles R. Lord makes a daring comparison between the experience of Japanese Americans confined in government camps during World War II on […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Heart of kindness for people and all things

人 (Hito) means “person.” 全て (Subete) This character, which represents a form of the person, means “everything.” The top of this word symbolizes the roof of a warehouse that stores many valuable items. 親 (Shin or oya) means “parents.” The top left side represents a person standing, and the bottom of this character represents a […]

Rabbit Rambling: Hoping and coping

I’ve taken some time off from this column because it was hard for me to feel that I had something sensible to say about what we have been living through. It’s as though we’re experiencing a slow, rolling earthquake that sends periodic shakes and shudders. We can’t tell when the next jolt will come or […]

DISSENT: During COVID-19, showing solidarity is even more important

We are in a frightening time. Some 135,235 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an untold number are battling infections. Meanwhile, the rest of us must protect ourselves whenever we venture out in public — not just from the virus, but also from […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Summer downtime

It has been an eventful first half of the year to say the least. This year has been filled with one heartbreak after another, starting with those raging wildfires Down Under, followed by a global pandemic. And now the ongoing social issues that society never resolved during the ‘60s have only heightened with recent transgressions […]

THROUGH YONSEI EYES: Spring

My recent column painted a pretty bleak picture of my life in JET in the age of COVID-19. However, these past two years have given me some of the greatest experiences of my life. I’ve put together a bit of a “highlight reel” of the best of times. There were extraordinary moments that caused me […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Help one another

相 (Ai or so) means “each other.” The left side of this character represents a tree and the right side represents an eye. Together, your eye looks at a tree with deep care. This can also represent the deep care we have for others. 与 (Yo) means “give.” This word is a form of giving […]

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