Teachers respond to fire in S.F.’s Western Addition

Cecily Ina-Lee stood in the recess yard at Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood May 13 when a colleague told her smoke was rising from an apartment complex behind the school. The Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program teacher quickly dialed 911. Ina-Lee ran toward the building, located at 10 Inca Lane, “to […]

Exhibit promotes ‘accepting’ Queer Nikkei in S.F.’s JA community

In December 2021, Elena Nielsen, a Japanese American Citizens League San Francisco chapter board member and Japantown Rainbow Coalition member, approached Tomo Hirai to help solicit support for the JACL’s LGBTQ Pride flag raising project. It will celebrate Pride next month in San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza. In asking for support from the National Japanese […]

Ohtani powers Angels to victory on Nichi Bei Day

The Nichi Bei Foundation held its annual Nichi Bei Day with the Oakland A’s on May 15. The A’s hosted the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum, and the game featured the reigning American League MVP for the Angels, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani has marveled fans as a two-way star in the Major Leagues as […]

San Francisco celebrates Asian heritage through community bonds

After a virtual celebration in 2020 and an outdoor celebration in 2021, the 2022 Asian Pacific American Heritage Awards returned to the Herbst Theater in San Francisco’s Civic Center May 4 under the theme of “forging community bonds.” Performers from the Samoan Community Development Center led a Samoan warrior chant to open the ceremony emceed […]

Japanese American seniors tell stories through film

In keeping with a long-standing tradition of Asian elders passing down their stories to their children and grandchildren, Visual Communications, a Los Angeles-based Asian American media arts center, created Digital Histories, a project that provides Asian Pacific American older adults the unique opportunity to tell their stories — as directors of their own short films. […]

Norman Mineta, former San Jose mayor, congressman and transportation secretary in 9/11 era, dies at 90

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Norman Mineta, who broke racial barriers for Asian Americans serving in high-profile government posts and ordered commercial flights grounded after the 9/11 terror attacks as the nation’s federal transportation secretary, died May 3, 2022. He was 90. John Flaherty, Mineta’s former chief of staff, said Mineta died peacefully at his home surrounded […]

Pan-fried ginger pork belly from ‘Kodoku no Gurume’ 豚バラ生姜焼き

Featured in the popular Japanese drama “Kodoku no Gurume,” this pan-fried ginger pork belly is cooked in a savory soy sauce base with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spicy ginger. It’s a quick meal that you can prepare in less than 20 minutes. After requests from many JOC readers, I started to […]

Nisei Mom repurposes with a purpose

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling are known as the “Three Rs” of the current-day “Going Green” movement. Add in “Repurposing” and you have my mom, Sadako Kashiwagi’s, “Four Rs.” She is 88 years young and still repurposing to this day. Except for mom, “Going Green” and the “Four Rs” are nothing new. For her and many […]

Fighting back against anti-Asian hate

After being a victim of what she described as an anti-Asian verbal incident in August 2020 in Los Angeles that went viral online, Hong Lee decided to take action for the Asian American community. After taking a self-defense class at Box for Change, Los Angeles, Lee began talking to a few friends about how they […]

Mark Izu’s ‘Songs for J-Town’ evokes memories and hopes

Mark Izu assembled performers from across the United States and spent years putting together “Songs for J-Town,” but he only expected around 60 people to attend the April 23 world premiere at the Presidio Theatre in San Francisco when he scheduled the show during the height of the omicron surge. Instead, more than 400 people […]

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