A place to ‘share and embrace the Nikkei experience and culture’

GARDENA, Calif. — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, which hosts major events like the South Bay Day of Remembrance and the GVJCI Matsuri, is an institution that “holds the legacy of our pioneering Issei and Nisei, and what they sacrificed and worked so hard to build in hopes to preserve and promote the Japanese […]

CONTINUING TRADITIONS: The evolution of koto artist Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto is literally in the middle of three generations of a family of koto teachers. Rising through the ranks over the years, she was awarded her Dai Shihan master’s degree from the Chikushi Kai Koto School in Fukuoka, Japan in 2000, and was inducted into the Hokka Nichibei Kai Bunka (Japanese Culture) Hall […]

TAYLOR TAKAHASHI’S GOT GAME: JA goes from assistant to romantic lead

In the basketball movie, “Boogie,” the behind-the-scenes story of how Yonsei Taylor Takahashi goes from a personal assistant to a movie star — with zero acting experience and only three weeks to prepare — is just as interesting as the movie itself. Takahashi, a Bay Area native and basketball star at Alameda High, eventually becomes interested […]

Farmworkers fight shaped Calif. attorney general nominee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In 1977, Cynthia Bonta was among 3,000 people who locked arms and tried in vain to prevent 400 riot police from evicting the mostly Asian tenants of a hotel near San Francisco’s Financial District so developers could build a parking garage. More than four decades later, her son Rob Bonta stood near […]

Nobuko Miyamoto releases new double album, ‘120,000 Stories’

On the first track of Nobuko Miyamoto’s brand new double album, “120,000 Stories,” the long-time musician and community activist sings these words from her Asian American Movement song, “We are the Children”: “Sing a song for ourselves. What have we got to lose?” After 50 years of using the arts to create social change and […]

Harusame salad (Japanese glass noodle salad) 春雨サラダ

Japanese glass noodle salad (harusame salad) is light, refreshing, low calorie and so flavorful, with a savory and tangy sesame soy vinaigrette. Japanese glass noodle salad, or what we call harusame salad (春雨サラダ) in Japan, is known as a Chinese-style (中華風) salad due to the Chinese origin of glass noodles and the use of sesame […]

Remembering the incarceration: 10th annual Films of Remembrance

The Nichi Bei Foundation held its 10th annual Films of Remembrance film series on the wartime incarceration of some 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. While this year’s program largely moved online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it also included a drive-in screening of “Farewell to Manzanar” at the West Wind […]

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is a dazzling adventure

Contrary to what “Game of Thrones” might have you believe, not all dragons are agents of destruction. In the newest offering from Walt Disney Animation, “Raya and the Last Dragon,” they are kind, full of magic and, when needed, the saviors of humanity. Five hundred years ago, we’re told in a prologue, dragons sacrificed themselves […]

Ten years and still recovering

Ten years have passed since the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The coastal towns are almost unrecognizable with new buildings, roads and bridges. When I visit these towns, I am in awe of how they have been rebuilt so quickly. I am again reminded of how beautiful this region and ocean are. Many […]

Eunice Sato, Long Beach’s first female mayor, dies at 99

Sato, who was also the first Asian American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city, died from cardiopulmonary arrest on Feb. 12.   Eunice N. Sato, the first female mayor of Long Beach who helped turn the city around during tough economic times in the 1970s and 1980s, has died. She was […]

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