S.F. Public Defender Jeff Adachi, tireless social justice advocate and filmmaker, dies

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose David v. Goliath campaign for his seat in 2002 catapulted the longtime community activist into a highly visible city position, died Feb. 22, 2019 after falling ill during a dinner with a friend in the city’s North Beach area. He was 59. Described by many as a social […]

Getting to the heart of a nation

During its annual film showcase Feb. 23 in San Francisco’s Japantown, the Nichi Bei Foundation plans to present a series of short films on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. Entitled “Americanism is in the Heart,” the three films explore sacrifices some 120,000 people of Japanese descent made while incarcerated The short films consist of […]

Australian Open champ Osaka rises to women’s world No. 1

MELBOURNE (Kyodo) — Naomi Osaka was officially installed as the new women’s world’s No. 1 singles player on Jan. 28 after her weekend victory in the Australian Open final. The 21-year-old Japanese, who has now won the last two Grand Slams, is the first player from Asia to ascend to the top of either the […]

Educating to remember, 40 years after the first California Day of Remembrance

Carole Hayashino recalled pulling into the Fort Mason parking lot in San Francisco on the morning of Feb. 19, 1979. She was surprised to be greeted by hundreds of people ready to form a caravan headed due south to the former site of the Tanforan Racetrack in San Bruno, Calif. for the state’s first ever […]

Next-generation filmmakers help to rediscover incarceration history

During its annual film showcase, the Nichi Bei Foundation will present a series of three short films on the history of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans directed by younger generations of filmmakers. Entitled “History Rediscovered,” the short films explore stories that detail the experience of some Japanese Americans during World War II when some […]

Little Tokyo supporters wary of rail construction, gentrification

LOS ANGELES — The Metro Regional Connector rail line, slated to run through Little Tokyo upon completion in 2021, has raised concerns among people who care about the ethnic Japanese enclave’s survival and want to protect the 134-year-old neighborhood from the negative effects of gentrification. Metro’s project, now under construction, will bring three new underground […]

Deconstructing intersections of Asian America

DRUMMING ASIAN AMERICA: TAIKO, PERFORMANCE, AND CULTURAL POLITICS By Angela K. Ahlgren (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, 198 pp., $34.95, paperback) Up until 2004, I was a mere (and rather unreflective) spectator to taiko drumming. However, that year I fortuitously became involved as an oral historian in a Japanese American National Museum-sponsored project that […]

Histories of loss and leaving

SKY COUNTRY By Christine Kitano (Rochester, N.Y.: BOA Editions Ltd., 2017, 104 pp., paperback) Ithaca College professor Christine Kitano’s “Sky Country” is a thought-provoking collection of poems that speak to Kitano’s mixed Korean-Japanese background. She organizes her book of poetry thematically into five sections each interwoven with the personal and collective histories of Korean and […]

Unpacking Okinawa’s complexities

RETHINKING POSTWAR OKINAWA: BEYOND AMERICAN OCCUPATION Edited by Pedro Iacobelli and Hiroko Matsuda (Latham, Md: Lexington Books, 2017, 212 pp., $90, hardcover) If you remember the movies “Teahouse of the August Moon” or “The Karate Kid Part II,” then be prepared for a very different “Okinawa” in “Okinawa in Rethinking Postwar Okinawa: Beyond American Occupation.” […]

The sexual and moral landscape of 1890s S.F.

DISCRIMINATING SEX: White Leisure and the Making of the American ‘Oriental’ By Amy Sueyoshi (Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2018, 228 pp., $99, cloth; $26, paperback) Amy Sueyoshi, professor and administrator at San Francisco State University, has long been a pioneer in tracing the intersection of Asian American studies and sexuality studies. Her first […]

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