PARTING SHOTS: THE WAYWARD CAREER OF THE G-WORD: ‘G.O.O.K is a four-letter word’

In this day and age of Political Correctness, you seldom hear the G-word uttered in our public or even private conversations. It’s frowned upon at any public discourse, especially among the American-born generations, ever since the Great Awakening of Asian Americans in the 1970s and 1980s. For this FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) immigrant from […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Understanding the queer heritage of Japanese Americans

Back in 2007, not long after I started writing my historical column “The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great” in the Nichi Bei Times, I established an annual tradition of marking LGBT Pride Week with a column on the queer heritage of Japanese Americans. It is a tradition that I am happy to carry over […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Old Bon Odori, new food

The Hawai‘i Obon season has already started in remote locations on the Big Island and will start on the rest of the islands next weekend. What once was traditionally a Buddhist festival to remember those who have passed before us now attracts both Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike. Some attend for the spiritual reconnection with the […]

THE KAERU KID: It’s plain no rain in Spain

Your reward this month for being a reader of this column is information on how to receive a free week’s vacation with lodging and all meals paid at a four-star resort in Spain. What’s the catch? You must meet some simple requirements. You must pay your own round-trip fare to Madrid. Second, English must be […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Cooking with sour wine

No, this is not the wine in Mylar bags sold in cardboard boxes. That wine was meant to taste that way. This is the product that comes from wine (or vin in French) that has naturally soured (aigre, again in French) to make vin-aigre — that is, vinegar. It can happen naturally in wine that […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Buchanan YMCA Secretary Lincoln Kanai’s ‘courage against injustice’ of World War II

In the annals of Japanese American history, a great deal of attention has been justly devoted to the four wartime “internment cases,” in which individual Nisei — Gordon Hirabayashi, Minoru Yasui, Fred Korematsu and Mitsuye Endo — challenged mass removal before the Supreme Court. In contrast, several other Nisei brought cases in the lower courts. […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Be Ready

The kanji character 用 (yo) means “to be able, useful” and consists of two parts. A vertical center line represents a nail. All other lines represent pieces of wood. The pieces of wood were put together by the nail. 意(i) means “thinking in your heart,” which consists of two parts. Above is a person’s voice and below […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The graying of America

I know “The Graying of America” sounds like a PBS documentary. Indeed, we are aging (especially the population of Baby Boomers) at a rapid pace, partly due to technological advances in medicine, partly due to saying “No” to super-sizing meals, with some credit to airbags and enforced speed limits. Personally I haven’t experienced any “graying” […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Nikkei Women Honored by Japanese American Women Alumnae

It isn’t every organization that has a connection to a powerful and influential member in Congress, but the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley (JAWAUCB), a club of the California Alumni Association, has just such a connection. Doris Matsui, representative for the 5th District in California, was honored as Outstanding Alumna of the Year […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Wearing Wool in Sahara

Sipping a glass of full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Zinfandel pretty much feels like wearing wool in the dead of summer — on the palate at least. And unless it’s an evening barbecue (after the sun has set), a nice Syrah or Zinfandel isn’t very appealing even with the best smoked meats […]

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