Multiracial athletes sparking debate in Japan ahead of 2020 Games

TOKYO — Amid a shifting cultural landscape, a handful of talented multiracial athletes are among some of Japan’s best chances to reach the podium at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics and consequently draw attention to an often ignored yet growing segment of the country’s population. At the top of that list is tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, […]

AMC’s ‘The Terror: Infamy’ weaves a ‘seductive creepiness’ into the WWII incarceration story

AMC’s supernatural television anthology, titled “The Terror: Infamy,” opens with a Japanese woman putting on make up and then sticking a chopstick into her hair. I groaned. Was this going to be another series where cultural appropriation was the norm, I wondered? We never see white people stick forks or spoons in their hair. Then, […]

Nikkei Brewers Yelich and Hiura having monster seasons in Majors

After taking the Los Angeles Dodgers to a full seven games in the 2018 National League Championship Series, the Milwaukee Brewers entered the 2019 Major League Baseball Season with high hopes. Those hopes hinge on a talented roster that includes Nikkei players Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura.

‘Kikan — The Homecoming’ retraces a San Francisco Nikkei tale

Japanese American filmmaker Kerwin Berk plans to premiere his latest film “Kikan – the Homecoming” Aug. 18 in San Francisco’s Japantown. Set in the 1940s, Berk tells the story of Jimmy Ibata (Ryan Takemiya), a Japanese American soldier returning to America after fighting in Europe with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. “Kikan” features a multi-generational cast of Japanese Americans directed by the director of “The Virtues of Corned Beef Hash” and “Infinity & Chashu Ramen,” two films predominantly set in the ethnic enclave. The Nichi Bei Weekly interviewed Berk, a Sansei, about his latest film.

THE Joy of Home Gardening: Community garden feeds the body and mind

When Kota Morikawa got word from the city that he was finally able to start gardening at a community garden, he had all but forgotten that he was in line to start a vegetable garden at the Willlowgate Community Garden in Mountain View, Calif. Morikawa, a former food editor for the Nichi Bei Times Japanese […]

S.F. Japantown security cameras praised by most

Community members have largely applauded the installation of a network of security cameras in San Francisco’s Japantown, in part for its ability to track individuals in the public spaces of the ethnic enclave. The Japantown SafeCity Program, administered by the Japantown Community Benefit District through an anonymous $750,000 grant, was one of the most anticipated […]

Counteracting ‘invisibility’ within the JA community

TRANS-PACIFIC JAPANESE AMERICAN STUDIES: CONVERSATIONS ON RACE AND RACIALIZATIONS Edited by Yasuko Takezawa and Gary Y. Okihiro (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016, 448 pp., $35, hardcover) This substantial volume is co-edited by two distinguished Nikkei practitioners of Japanese American studies, one a Japan-based anthropologist, Yasuko Takezawa of Kyoto University, and the other a U.S.-situated […]

The truth behind religious freedom in Japan

FAKING LIBERTIES: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICAN-OCCUPIED JAPAN By Jolyon Baraka Thomas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019, 336 pp., $32.50, paperback) Although only an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Jolyon Baraka Thomas has already published one remarkable book, “Drawing on Tradition: Manga, Anime, and Religion in Contemporary Japan” (University of […]

Bookseller, like Japanese American community, perseveres through challenges

SAN MATEO, Calif. — Women, children, mothers, fathers, families. Some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent were trapped behind barbed wire fences for having a cultural connection to Japan during World War II. In 1970 the Japanese American Curriculum Project, renamed the Asian American Curriculum Project in 1985, began its humble endeavor to educate the public […]

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 […]

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