THE HEART OF KANJI: Live in the moment, live in the now

今 (Ima) means “now.” The top lines of this character represent a gathering of people and the bottom line symbolizes the continuation of this gathering. 一 (Ichi) means “one.” This character indicates one finger. 瞬 (Shun) means “a moment.” The left side of this character represents an eye. The top left side represents flames and […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: On ‘Americans from Japan’ author Bradford Smith

Recently, I published a biographical article on the writer Bradford Smith, but only briefly mentioned his notable 1948 book “Americans from Japan.” Published only two years after the closing of the War Relocation Authority camps, it provides a readable account of Japanese immigration and settlement, leading up to the World War II confinement experience and […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Another bean binge

Yes, I’ve discussed the benefits of the humble legume on many occasions, but since I’ve retired from the day job and inflation still keeps most cuts of beef in the double digit per pound range and chicken well above $5 per pound, what better source of affordable protein is there? Not to mention that animal […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: The power of sensitivity and insensitivity

敏感 (Binkan) means “sensitive.” The left side of the first character represents a woman with long hair, and the right side indicates a hand. The hand is gently taking care of the woman’s hair. The second character’s top lines represent a fruit tree and the portion below indicates a mouth and heart. 力 (Ryoku) means […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: 20 years of talking story

Here in the 50th, when acquaintances engage in idle chit chat to pass the time, we call it “talk story.” It may be with a relative that you haven’t seen for a while at a family gathering, it may be with a friend on a weekend over a can or two of beer. Or it […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: 2023: The year of the interview

Every family historian suffers from the same regret: Why didn’t I interview (insert any name) when he/she was alive? Much of genealogy is about giving a voice to our ancestors. But have you considered talking to your oldest family members while you have the opportunity? Allow them to share their stories through an interview. Now […]

LASTING COMMITMENTS: A gift from God — Kamisama kara no okurimono

Best wishes for 2023! Amidst the grief and suffering that so many of us are going through, with family members and friends passing on, lots of sickness, a growing sense of divisiveness and hate amongst people, I think we all search for hope as the new year begins. Sensei Kawahatsu wrote an intriguing article this […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Appreciate all the functions of our body

身体 (Shintai) means “body.” The first character represents a pregnant woman. The left side of the second character represents a person, and the right side represents a tree with roots. 働 (Hataraki) means “function or work.” The right side represents a person, the middle section represents heavy items and the right side indicates power. 礼 […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Change is the only constant

What is going to happen next year? I don’t know about everyone else, but I am feeling somewhat upset by the way things went over these last few years. We are still coping with the plague of COVID-19. We watched on live TV a large and terrifying mob storm the U.S. Capitol, trying to interfere […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Anne Emery’s novel reflected her ‘deep sympathy’ for JA camp survivors

During the first decade after World War II, several novels that centered on the wartime experience of Japanese Americans appeared in print in the United States. Apart from the Hawai‘i-born Nisei author Shelley Ayame Nishimura Ota’s 1951 book “Upon these Shoulders,” none of them was authored by a Japanese American. Rather, they were all the […]