RABBIT RAMBLINGS: On hopeful and precarious developments

Since the last year has been so terrible, I haven’t written a regular column in a while. Rather than complain about things, I decided to keep quiet. But we’ve had several positive and hopeful events, the first being the election of President Joe Biden and the very narrow victory of Democrats in Congress, which was […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: ‘Diet for a Small Planet’

Frances Moore Lappe’s groundbreaking book, “Diet for a Small Planet,” is now 50 years old. It argued that world hunger was not caused by lack of food, but by lack of effective food policy. And while I’m not vegan or even vegetarian by any means, I agree that raising animals just for consumption expends a […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: TOSHI SEEGER’S ARTFUL LIFE: From folk music and film producer to organizer

Toshi Ohta Seeger was a remarkable Nisei who collaborated with her longtime husband Pete Seeger in his musical career and support for progressive causes. However, both because she was an Asian American woman, and because she preferred to shun the spotlight and work in the background, she has not historically received the attention she was […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Green onion or scallion?

In the 50th, we normally refer to the top of Allium chinense as green onions, though the rest of the United States refers to them as scallions. Their culinary preparations typically consist of using the white bottoms near the root, whereas in Hawai‘i, we primarily use the green tops. And while I normally try to […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: In praise of the cook: Remembrance of Jack Shirai, A Nikkei antifascist fighter

(Editor’s note: The following article was co-written with Jonathan Van Harmelen.) Traditionally, discussion of the Nikkei combat experience starts with World War II and centers on the exploits of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the actions of individual veterans such as Sgt. Ben Kuroki or Frank Fujita. Yet one of […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: How a small bird can become your teacher

私 (Watakushi) means “I, myself.” The left side of this word represents a rice plant and the right side represents arms. As one character, it shows a person holding lots of rice with both their arms. 先 (Sen, saki) means “before or after.” The top of this word indicates a person’s foot and the portion […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: A simple bowl of rice

We don’t consume rice like we used to, and it’s not because we’re into the whole low-carb diet, because neither of us subscribes to it. It’s simply because I tend to overeat when rice is the starch. And because I overeat, I don’t get to prepare one of my favorite dishes with the leftover rice, […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Anne Howden’s lifetime of human rights advocacy and public service

Mich Kunitani, the subject of my last “Great Unknown” column, was not the only member of his family to make a name as a political activist. His first wife, Anne Saito Kunitani, later known as Anne Howden, was a lifelong human rights advocate who shifted her focus from advocacy to public service. She was born […]

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 […]

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