THE HEART OF KANJI: Polish your heart with shodo

書 (Sho) means “writing.” The top of this character depicts a person who is writing calligraphy, and the bottom represents a piece of paper. 道 (Do, michi) means “a way, path or road.” The right side represents a person’s head and face and the left side represents a crossroad. 心 (Kokoro) means “heart.” This word […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: For Asian American entertainment, 2020 marks a new beginning — but the beginning of what exactly?

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series. When we talk about eras in entertainment media, we often define them by decades. Eighties movies, sixties rock or ‘90s video games. This is ultimately pretty arbitrary, of course — when the calendar flips from December 1999 to January 2000, what’s happening in film, books […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: What’s your plan?

Many of you began your family history journey in 2020 when you had extra time during the COVID-19 quarantine. While you might not be celebrating Oshogatsu with your loved ones this year (at least not in person), it might be the perfect time to connect with those “other” family members, your ancestors. As you move […]

THROUGH YONSEI EYES: Summer

In this cold and lonely winter, I can’t help but dream of the picture perfect Japanese summers I enjoyed during my time in Tottori. It seems like forever ago that life was so carefree, but during these difficult times I can still find sunshine in those memories of lazy days and long nights, beers on […]

Let’s Talk … About thriving in the pandemic, Part 2

We have many things to look forward to in 2021, a kind of U-turn, but on a different plane of living. The “new normal” will forever be inflected by this harrowing epidemic, unprecedented political instability and the raw social injustice brought to the heart of 2020. Like the lumbering ox that represents the Chinese zodiac […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: The fight continues

I guess we can say “Happy New Year” without feeling totally hypocritical at this time. The year that we just lived through has been so different from any that most of us have experienced that one can hardly find words to describe it. As of this writing, there are record breaking numbers of people catching […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: 20 thoughts of 2020

Here are an assortment of my thoughts, some serious, some not, about the past year: • Skills I gained this year: I am better at teleconferencing, gardening and washing my hands. • If someone from 2019 told me those were the skills I would acquire, I would’ve been really confused. • I actually don’t think […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Mich Kunitani and the Nisei Young Democrat movement

Arguably the most dynamic Nisei political force in the later 1930s was the Nisei Young Democrat movement. Founded by a set of liberal intellectuals and activists, notably Nichi Bei Shimbun editor Larry Tajiri, the Young Democrats formed chapters in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. By 1940 the Oakland branch had established itself as […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Our life is for planting seeds of smiling or laughter

人 represents a person standing and the character 生 represents a sprout growing in soil. 笑顔 (Waraigao) means “a smiling or laughing face.” 笑 represents bamboo and a person who is laughing, like bamboo playfully moving back and forth. 顔 represents a person’s hair and head. 種 (Tane) means “seed.” This character indicates a rice […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The new normal

From raging wildfires in both the Golden State and Down Under, racial tensions that erupted into massive civil unrest not seen since the 1960s, an ongoing pandemic and a divided country whose issues aren’t about to resolve anytime soon, the turning of the Year of the Rat could not have come any sooner, and I’m […]

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