NIKKEI ANGEL ISLAND CHRONICLES: The Angel Island story of Kane Mineta, Norman Mineta’s mother

(Editor’s Note: The following article was published on the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation’s Website, www.aiisf.org). Americans know Norman Mineta as the first Asian American in a presidential cabinet, when he was secretary of commerce under President Bill Clinton, secretary of transportation under George Bush, where he took decisive action after the attacks of 9/11, […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The love apple

Since my last column highlighting the “wolf peach” or Solanum lycopersicum was more than a decade ago, it’s time to highlight the versatility of the love apple or everyday tomato. Though it goes by several aliases, tomato is derived from the Aztec tomatl or “the swelling fruit.” When you think about it, a tomato does […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: JA ‘godmother of redress’ was an internationally esteemed community-builder

Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga, who passed away on July 18, 2018, was not a household name, even among Japanese Americans. Yet her place in history as “godmother of Japanese American redress” seems secure. A one-woman research team, she spent years combing through the National Archives and other government document centers in search of material on the […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Remembering ‘miracle worker’ Herzig Yoshinaga’s relentless hunt for truth

I am very saddened by the death of a dear friend, Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga. Of course, it wasn’t a total surprise, since she was in her 90s and had been ill, and at that age, it could happen at anytime. But losing friends and close ones is always hard. She was a wonderful and exceptional […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: What is Obon for a Buddhist reverend in Japan?

The word Obon in America, and the word in Japan, are two very different things. Many people in America link Obon to the street festivals and dancing that takes place in Japantowns and Buddhist temples. However, Obon in Japan is a big cultural holiday, much like Christmas without the commercialization. Many people take the day […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Intraracial alliances in pursuit of justice

One weekend in late-May, I attended two events that focused on a subject that is dear to my heart, that of forming alliances across racial lines and working toward the common goals of more justice, equality and solidarity among people of color. The first was a May 19 concert at the Buddhist Church of San […]

Let’s Talk … About remembering and speaking out

Obon time is a time to remember loved ones who have passed away. We honor the dead with tradition and ceremony. By coming together as family and community, we have the opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from those who are no longer with us, and we remember something about the lives they lived. […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Unmasking the complexities of documenting queer Nikkei sexuality and history

This week’s column marks the 12th entry in the annual series on queer Japanese American history that I have undertaken to mark LGBT Pride Month. Previous entries have shed light on the nature of sexuality within Japanese communities, the rise and decline of homophobia, past gay activists and community debates over LGBT civil rights. This […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Not your mother’s milk

Most of us started life with our mother’s milk as our first form of sustenance. Then at some point, we started infringing on the sustenance of calves, namely cow’s milk. From there, we either continued on some form of the same, whether it was full fat, reduced fat or skim or totally eliminated it from […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Your own happiness

This is the third rule for a harmonious relationship. 自 (ji) means “own.” This indicates a nose. When Japanese people introduce themselves to other people, they point to their own nose. 分 (bun) means “divide into two.” The bottom lines of this character are a knife and the top means to cut one thing into […]

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