‘Comfort women’ exhibit opens in State Bldg. in S.F.

While the subject of so-called “comfort women” continues to cause controversy between Japan and its neighboring countries in Asia, a new photo exhibition recently opened at the California State Building designed to shed light on one of the darkest chapters of World War II — the sexual enslavement of women throughout Asia by the Japanese […]

Naomi Osaka stayed above the fray to claim first Grand Slam title

NEW YORK  — As Serena Williams’ U.S. Open final crumbled around her on Sept. 8, Japan’s Naomi Osaka said she had to stay above the fray in order to keep her historic run to Grand Slam history alive. With code violations, broken rackets, tears and accusations of cheating coming from Williams’ end of the court, Osaka […]

Death toll from Hokkaido quake rises to 41

TOKYO () — The death toll from a powerful earthquake that jolted Hokkaido last week rose to 41 on Sept. 10, with thousands of people still staying in shelters on the country’s northernmost main island, authorities said. The Hokkaido government said in the evening that a man in his 50s was confirmed dead in Tomakomai, […]

S.F. Japantown vigil opposes family separations and travel ban

Japanese Americans gathered on the evening of Aug. 9 in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza to convey their solidarity against the continued attacks the Trump administration orchestrates against minorities in the United States. Hundreds of activists, both young and old, withstood the chilly evening to hear first-hand experiences of immigrants and the voices of veteran […]

Finding a new (re)purpose

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Although he is now in his “fourth or fifth career,” Steven Masami Ropp seems to have been motivated throughout by a sense of creativity, legacy and building. A former graphic designer, Ropp was one of three individuals who established Hapa Issues Forum while a student at University of California, Berkeley in the […]

Art Shibayama, who continued fight for Japanese Latin American redress, dies

Isamu Carlos Arturo “Art” Shibayama, who was among the 2,264 Japanese Latin Americans kidnapped during World War II by the United States government to be used in hostage exchanges with Japan, passed away July 31, 2018. He was 88. He was the oldest of eight children born to Yuzo and Tatsue Ishibashi Shibayama, both from […]

LIVING ART FORM: Dennis Makishima’s aesthetic pruning

EL CERRITO, Calif. — Dennis Makishima professed that he didn’t like trees when he was growing up in the 1960s. The Sansei Berkeley, Calif. native explained that he and his friends were embarrassed by their gardener fathers and housekeeper mothers. But two decades later, Makishima would find himself creating his own field of gardening as […]

Researcher Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga, who played a critical role in JA redress, dies

Aiko “Louise” Herzig Yoshinaga, a researcher and activist who played a pivotal role in the national Japanese American Redress Movement, passed away peacefully on July 18, 2018. She would have turned 94 on Aug. 5. Herzig Yoshinaga was born in Sacramento, Calif. but grew up in Los Angeles. She was the fifth of six children, […]

More than 400 converge upon ‘hallowed ground’ at Tule Lake Pilgrimage

The theme for the 2018 Tule Lake Pilgrimage was “Preserving Our Hallowed Ground.” It attracted more than 400 attendees, ranging in age from 7 years old to 98, coming from as far away as Alaska, Hawai‘i, the East Coast and Japan. The pilgrimage opened with a moment of silence to remember Henry Nonaka and Jimi […]

Fathoming the ‘lessons and limits of history’

LETTERS TO MEMORY By Karen Tei Yamashita (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2017, 200 pp., $19.95, paperback) In his insightful Sept. 13, 2017 Christian Science Monitor review of Karen Tei Yamashita’s “Letters to Memory,” Terry Hong concluded with this appraisal: “Allusive, quirky, questioning, ‘Letters’ is a challenging text . . . dense with assumptions of cultural […]

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