THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Recounting ‘Sushi and Sourdough’ author and WWII vet Tooru Kanazawa’s life

Tooru Kanazawa, an early Nisei writer and journalist, distinguished himself as a community activist and soldier during World War II. At the end of his long life, he achieved widespread attention in literary circles with the publication of his autobiographical novel “Sushi and Sourdough.” Tooru Joe Kanazawa was born Nov. 12, 1906 in Spokane, Wash., […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: We tend to believe we are always right

私 (Watakushi) means “I or me.” The left side of this represents a rice plant and the right side represents arms. The rice plant is held in a person’s arms. 正 (Tadashii) means “right.” The top line indicates the goal and the lines below indicate a foot, showing you walking toward the goal. 思 (Omoi) […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Barbecue time

Just the word barbecue takes on different meanings, depending on where in the country you reside. In the South, barbecue usually means low and slow cooking at somewhere between 225 to 275 degrees over charcoal. In the Carolinas, it primarily means hog, whereas it’s only beef in Texas. And even in the hog centric regions, […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Prewar attitudes toward queer sexuality in Japanese-language press

This is the 16th year that I have had the pleasure of presenting my annual queer history column. I want to start today’s installment by acknowledging the 2020 online J-Sei exhibit “Seen & Unseen: Queering Japanese American History Before 1945,” co-curated by Nichi Bei Weekly columnist Amy Sueyoshi and Stan Yogi. It was a landmark […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Love is like rain from a cloud in the sky

愛 (Ai) means “love.” The top of this character is a person rowing a boat, the middle portion is a heart and the bottom portion is a footstep. All together, this symbolizes the feeling that a boat cannot go fast enough when someone is looking forward to meeting with their loved one. 空 (Sora) means […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Practice seeing the good side

良 (Yoi) means “good.” The top lines indicates a box and the lines below indicate measuring something correctly. 方 (Ho) means “direction.” This word indicates a small boat heading in a certain direction. 見 (Miru) means “look or see.” This word represents the human eye. 練習 (Renshu) means “learn or practice.” The left side of […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The ABCs of alcohol

Since my cocktail videos are appearing in the monthly “Nichi Bei Café” segments on YouTube, I thought this might be a good opportunity to rehash things I may have discussed in the past, as these cocktail videos typically run no more than five minutes, not nearly enough time to discuss individual liquors on their own. […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: ‘The Great Unknown’s’ 100th edition

A random perusal of my list of titles has led me to a stunning discovery: This week’s column represents the 100th installment of “The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great” that I have published in the Nichi Bei Weekly in the dozen years since the newspaper’s founding in 2009 (I have also done some 40 […]

CHANGING LANDSCAPES: Water conservation with irrigation

As the water shortage issue worsens in California amid multi-year drought conditions driven by climate change, the state is exploring more ways to encourage water conservation. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislature have invested $5.2 billion over three years “to support the immediate drought response and built water resilience,” his Website states. He signed […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Portable food

Although I technically now have all the time in the world since leaving the productive workforce, it seems that sometimes I’m still pressed for time. Maybe it’s because I have stepped up my exercise regimen from one hour of cardio on my bike once a week to three times a week, as well as finally […]

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