Oregon prison’s healing garden offers renewed perspective

In 2014, Johnny Cofer, who is incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Ore. told the institution’s activities director, Patrice Lans, he would love to see a Japanese garden and koi pond outside in the yard of the facility. At the Oregon State Penitentiary, there is an activities department, consisting of 11 clubs, one […]

A kid-friendly primer on Japan

ALL ABOUT JAPAN: STORIES, SONGS CRAFTS AND GAMES FOR KIDS By Willamarie Moore; Illustrated by Kazumi Wilds (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 64 pp., $14.95, hardcover) Here’s all the information you’d enjoy about Japan, everything from clothing to vocabulary to holidays. Interesting sections include “Introducing Japan,” “Everyday Life,” “Holidays and Celebrations,” plus “Language and […]

A deep dive into the world of tsukemono

JAPANESE PICKLED VEGETABLES: 129 HOMESTYLE RECIPES FOR TRADITIONAL BRINED, VINEGARED AND FERMENTED PICKLES By Machiko Tateno (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2019, 144 pp., $16.99, paperback) There are many reasons why pickles are the “in” food, so it’s with great excitement that I review this new book that is sure to attract the attention of […]

Canadian architect says Japanese roots shaped his aesthetic

TOKYO — For Raymond Moriyama, an award-winning Canadian architect of Japanese descent, the lessons of culture and community he takes from his ancestry formed the foundation of his aesthetics and architectural designs. He often sought inspiration and solutions from childhood memories, including his days spent at an incarceration camp during World War II, when he […]

On healing the ache of the familiar

There is a particular ache that many Japanese Americans feel when we see images of our World War II mass incarceration, or “camp.” It’s a bittersweet struggle with recognition and connection across barriers of time and space. If the faces and settings are not our relatives, the chilling fact remains that they might be, or […]

First of 10 public artworks along future Central Subway line installed

With construction on San Francisco’s Central Subway expected to be completed next year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced this week that the first piece of public artwork along the line has been installed. The piece, called Microcosmic, is a stainless steel wind-activated kinetic sculpture mounted on a 40-foot light pole near Fourth and […]

Wat Misaka, who broke professional basketball’s color barrier, dies

Wataru “Wat” Misaka, the first person of color to play in professional basketball when he broke the color barrier in 1947, died Nov. 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 95. A 5-foot-7-inch guard, Misaka was a legend on the basketball court. He led Weber Junior College to two ICAC junior college titles in […]

Kokoro Cares: Providing tasty Japanese care packages

In 2016, Lillian Rowlatt and Aki Sugiyama met for dinner through a mutual friend while they were both working in finance in Tokyo. With passions for health, wellness and fitness, the two women discussed the importance of food, including its community aspect and the significance of sharing a meal with family and friends. The dinner […]

Akashi-Kama: A mixture of Japanese aesthetic and modern American streetwear

It took a trip to Japan to inspire Alec Nakashima, a former product manager for a tech company, to create a clothing brand that reflects his identity: feeling both Japanese and American. Nakashima went on the Japanese American Citizens League’s Kakehashi grassroots exchange program to Japan in March 2018. He was in awe of the […]

Okinawa castle at World Heritage site destroyed in predawn fire

NAHA, Japan — The main buildings of a castle at a World Heritage site in Okinawa, regarded as a symbol of the southern Japanese prefecture, burned to the ground in a predawn fire Oct. 31, with the blaze finally suppressed hours later. The fire started just before 2:40 a.m. at Shuri Castle, one of Okinawa’s […]

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