150 years later, Wakamatsu colony comes back to life

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The sun-burnt foothills of Gold Hill outside Placerville came alive June 8 with silk spinners, tea makers, flute players, priests and even a prince from Aizu Wakamatsu. They joined hundreds of history buffs from Japan, California and beyond to celebrate the 150th anniversary of America’s first Japanese outpost, the short-lived but much-revered […]

Netflix’s ‘Always Be My Maybe’ a groundbreaking film for Asian Americans and Hollywood

Sometimes the media revolution hits not with a bang, but in a sweet and subversive romantic comedy. Make no mistake. “Always Be My Maybe,” a recently released Netflix original starring Randall Park and Ali Wong, is one of the most culturally authentic mainstream films yet on Asian Americans. At the same time, “Always Be My […]

Lodi JACL Templars honor 442nd Regimental Combat Team on opening day

LODI, Calif. — On a mild summer 85-degree Lodi morning, the Northern California Japanese American Baseball League had its opening day for the 2019 season. The Lodi JACL Templars hosted the Fresno Sansei at Tony Zupo stadium June 9. Pre-game ceremonies celebrated and honored the connection between the Lodi JACL baseball team and the 442nd […]

BORDER TOWN STORIES: Exploring Okinawa’s multicultural mishmash

A previous recipient of a Fulbright grant to Japan, author Akemi Johnson has written for outlets such as The Nation and National Public Radio, and contributed an essay to volume 2 of “Hapa Japan.” She spoke with Nichi Bei Weekly about her forthcoming book, “Night in the American Village: Women in the Shadows of the […]

Multiracial athletes of Japanese descent and their ascent

March 21, 2019, Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. In the bottom of the eighth, Ichiro Suzuki trotted off the baseball diamond for the last time, waving to an unusually emotional Japanese crowd. Soon after, fellow Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. remarked that, during his career, Ichiro was able to “cross barriers.” When […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: On processing the Crystal City pilgrimage

I’ve been home for a while since the March 29 to April 1 Crystal City, Texas pilgrimage and demonstration at Dilley, the largest detention center for asylum seekers in the U.S. It is as though my head and my heart are so full of thoughts and feelings that I can’t “process” the experience with detachment. […]

Annual concentration camp pilgrimage salient to politics 50 years on

LOS ANGELES — After being expelled from university for “inciting a riot,” fighting for African Americans’ civil rights and protesting the Vietnam War, Warren Furutani decided it was time to galvanize a Japanese American community which had experienced mass incarceration two decades earlier. Just 22 years old at the time of the first pilgrimage to […]

A brief history of Japanese American basketball in the Bay Area

First QuarterUnlike baseball, which was introduced to Japan by the United States in 1873 and played by the immigrant Issei, Japanese American basketball was a predominantly Nisei sport and truly a Japanese American phenomenon. Basketball in the Japanese American community started gaining popularity in the 1920s with recreational teams forming wherever there were significant numbers […]

Google honors late Nisei artist Ruth Asawa with Doodle

Kicking off the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Google honored the late Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa with its May 1 online Doodle at google.com. The image featured the Google logo rendered in the fashion of Asawa’s iconic wire sculptures, with Asawa working on the sculpture. Accompanying the Doodle, Google published a biographical […]

CAAMFest presents nuanced personal stories

The Center for Asian American Media’s CAAMFest 2019 returns to the Bay Area May 9, and includes venues in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. The following short films screen in San Francisco. ‘Period Girl’Any number of documentaries could be made about Nadya Okamoto. At 21 years old, she’s already co-founded a nonprofit with more than […]

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