Let’s Talk … About Tsuru for Solidarity

In the fall of 2018, a small group of Nikkei in the Bay Area gathered to begin planning for a preliminary pilgrimage to Crystal City, Texas, a former Department of Justice camp where several of us had been held as children separated from our fathers during World War II. With the increasingly hostile and racist […]

The Gochiso Gourmet: Get the 4-1-1 on Japan’s alcoholic drinks

When I was first asked to review this book, I thought, “it should be pretty straightforward, as most of the book probably deals with sake,” and I recently studied for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 1 Award in Sake, so it shouldn’t take a lot of time describing sake production and sake-based […]

The Heart of Kanji: Chikyu Ni Kansha: “Appreciate the Earth”

地 (chi) means ”ground.” The left side indicates soil and the right side indicates a moving snake. Together, these characters represent the uneven and changeable nature of the ground and the Earth. 球 (kyu) means “round ball” and this character represents its shape. 感 (kan) means “feeling.” The top lines indicate a fruit tree, the […]

DISSENT: Stephen Miller’s white supremacy should alarm JAs

New ColumnPart of a host of new editorial features funded by a grant from The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, the Nichi Bei Weekly is proud to announce the launch of a new civil rights-oriented column, “Dissent,” written by New York-based ACLU attorney Carl Takei, a native of Sacramento, Calif. The Washington Post recently […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Once Upon a Time — Preserve your family history through storytelling

Family stories are just as important to your family history as names, dates and places. Perhaps they are even more important because the stories are what connect past generations to future ones. According to Aaron Holt, an archives technician at the National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas, “it only takes three generations to lose a piece of oral family history… it must be purposely and accurately repeated over and over again through the generations to be preserved for a genealogist today.”

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Yoichi Hiraoka: International musical star

Yoichi Hiraoka was an internationally renowned xylophone virtuoso, one who helped popularize the xylophone as an instrument for both classical and popular music. Through daily radio performances and live concerts, he became the most celebrated Nikkei musician in the United States during the 1930s. However, even his fame did not save him from being targeted […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Preserve your treasures before it’s too late

April 18, 1906. San Francisco was struck by an earthquake, followed by a devastating fire, which left hundreds of thousands homeless, and which destroyed all of the public records at city hall. Oct. 19, 1991. The Oakland firestorm incinerated nearly 3,000 single-family homes. Nov. 8, 2018. The Camp Fire obliterated 95 percent of the town […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Dear JAVA, where is your sense of compassion and understanding?

Some of you probably know that the Japanese American Citizens League made a historic move at their last convention, which was held earlier this summer. They presented a resolution of apology to the Tule Lake resisters, which was passed overwhelmingly, by over 80 percent of the delegates, an indication of the sentiments of most of […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: A sign of fall or just a Waikiki tourist?

It’s that time of year when that large, edible, orange orb makes its appearance. It usually appears in October as that seasonal decoration with the traditional grin of someone who hasn’t seen a dentist in quite a while, but in November morphs into that traditional edible pie filling. Yup, the pumpkin or bobura. In the […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Classical music behind barbed wires

(Editor’s Note: The following was co-written with Jonathan van Harmelen) In the tragic and difficult conditions faced by Japanese Americans confined in the War Relocation Authority camps during World War II, one imposing arena of achievement was in the arts. In recent years, a number of books and exhibits have highlighted not only the extraordinary […]

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