‘Finding wellness in one’s roots’

Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit By Candice Kumai (New York: Harper Wave, 2018, 336 pp., $29.99 hardcover) Candice Kumai is a well known wellness writer, chef, and content creator who has written a book that is a mixture of memoir, self-help and cookbook. Her recognized contributions to national wellness […]

Japanese American ballet star Sono Osato dies at 99

Sono Osato, a multiracial Japanese American ballet dancer who gained acclaim on Broadway, was found dead at her Manhattan home Dec. 26, 2018, The New York Times reported. She was 99. According to the Times, Osato was the first performer of Japanese descent in Col. Wassily de Basil’s Ballets Russes, said to be the world’s […]

Kenso Zenimura, Nisei who played baseball with Hiroshima Carp, dies

Howard Kenso Zenimura, a Nisei baseball legend from the Fresno, Calif. area who would play professionally with Japan’s Hiroshima Carp, passed away Dec. 13, 2018, the Nisei Baseball Research Project announced on its Facebook page. He was 91. “Kenso was a Nisei baseball pioneer, one of the founding members of the NBRP, and a good […]

Little Tokyo supporters wary of rail construction, gentrification

LOS ANGELES — The Metro Regional Connector rail line, slated to run through Little Tokyo upon completion in 2021, has raised concerns among people who care about the ethnic Japanese enclave’s survival and want to protect the 134-year-old neighborhood from the negative effects of gentrification. Metro’s project, now under construction, will bring three new underground […]

Deconstructing intersections of Asian America

DRUMMING ASIAN AMERICA: TAIKO, PERFORMANCE, AND CULTURAL POLITICS By Angela K. Ahlgren (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, 198 pp., $34.95, paperback) Up until 2004, I was a mere (and rather unreflective) spectator to taiko drumming. However, that year I fortuitously became involved as an oral historian in a Japanese American National Museum-sponsored project that […]

The postwar shadow looms

LIFE AFTER MANZANAR By Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2018, 208 pp., $28, hardcover) In their new book, “Life After Manzanar,” Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist throw new light on the lives of Japanese Americans in the postwar era, tracing the experience of the former camp inmates through resettlement, the […]

Seeking a revolution

ASIAN AMERICAN MATTERS: A NEW YORK ANTHOLOGY Edited By Russell C. Leong (New York: Asian American and Asian Research Institute, The City University of New York, 2017, 256 pp., $25, paperback) “Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology” is a commemorative assembling of new, revised, and selected work from CUNY Forum, a journal established in […]

Rediscovering Honouliuli and preserving former camp sites

A RESILIENT SPIRIT: THE VOICE OF HAWAI‘I’S INTERNEES Edited by Claire Sato and Violet Harada (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2018, 100 pp., $25, paperback) Having previously read with enjoyment and edification a trio of books published by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i — “Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment […]

Histories of loss and leaving

SKY COUNTRY By Christine Kitano (Rochester, N.Y.: BOA Editions Ltd., 2017, 104 pp., paperback) Ithaca College professor Christine Kitano’s “Sky Country” is a thought-provoking collection of poems that speak to Kitano’s mixed Korean-Japanese background. She organizes her book of poetry thematically into five sections each interwoven with the personal and collective histories of Korean and […]

Unpacking Okinawa’s complexities

RETHINKING POSTWAR OKINAWA: BEYOND AMERICAN OCCUPATION Edited by Pedro Iacobelli and Hiroko Matsuda (Latham, Md: Lexington Books, 2017, 212 pp., $90, hardcover) If you remember the movies “Teahouse of the August Moon” or “The Karate Kid Part II,” then be prepared for a very different “Okinawa” in “Okinawa in Rethinking Postwar Okinawa: Beyond American Occupation.” […]

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