‘Finding wellness in one’s roots’

Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit By Candice Kumai (New York: Harper Wave, 2018, 336 pp., $29.99 hardcover) Candice Kumai is a well known wellness writer, chef, and content creator who has written a book that is a mixture of memoir, self-help and cookbook. Her recognized contributions to national wellness […]

Japanese American ballet star Sono Osato dies at 99

Sono Osato, a multiracial Japanese American ballet dancer who gained acclaim on Broadway, was found dead at her Manhattan home Dec. 26, 2018, The New York Times reported. She was 99. According to the Times, Osato was the first performer of Japanese descent in Col. Wassily de Basil’s Ballets Russes, said to be the world’s […]

Kenso Zenimura, Nisei who played baseball with Hiroshima Carp, dies

Howard Kenso Zenimura, a Nisei baseball legend from the Fresno, Calif. area who would play professionally with Japan’s Hiroshima Carp, passed away Dec. 13, 2018, the Nisei Baseball Research Project announced on its Facebook page. He was 91. “Kenso was a Nisei baseball pioneer, one of the founding members of the NBRP, and a good […]

The postwar shadow looms

LIFE AFTER MANZANAR By Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2018, 208 pp., $28, hardcover) In their new book, “Life After Manzanar,” Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist throw new light on the lives of Japanese Americans in the postwar era, tracing the experience of the former camp inmates through resettlement, the […]

Seeking a revolution

ASIAN AMERICAN MATTERS: A NEW YORK ANTHOLOGY Edited By Russell C. Leong (New York: Asian American and Asian Research Institute, The City University of New York, 2017, 256 pp., $25, paperback) “Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology” is a commemorative assembling of new, revised, and selected work from CUNY Forum, a journal established in […]

Rediscovering Honouliuli and preserving former camp sites

A RESILIENT SPIRIT: THE VOICE OF HAWAI‘I’S INTERNEES Edited by Claire Sato and Violet Harada (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2018, 100 pp., $25, paperback) Having previously read with enjoyment and edification a trio of books published by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i — “Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment […]

A song becomes a book

JELLYFISH By Lesli Takasugi (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018, 48 pp., $15.99, paperback) “Jellyfish” was originally a song written and performed by Lesli Takasugi, an artist, songwriter and teacher. When her daughter Mukti was born, it inspired her to turn the song into a book. Just inside the front cover, the book begins with beautiful […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: ‘Nisei Songbird’ Yoshiko Miyakawa of Sacramento

In the years before World War II, West Coast Japanese Americans encountered numerous obstacles to equality, both official and unofficial, and faced great difficulty in making names and careers for themselves outside of their ethnic communities. However, one exceptional individual, the “Nisei songbird,” Yoshiko Miyakawa of Sacramento, Calif., rose to international celebrity as an opera […]

A ‘family-themed inquiry’ into the ‘wages of war’

WHEN THE AKIMOTOS WENT TO WAR: AN UNTOLD STORY OF FAMILY, PATRIOTISM, AND SACRIFICE DURING WORLD WAR IIBy Matthew Elms (Arlington, Va.: American Battle Monuments Commission, 2015, 146 pp., $15, paperback) This book by Matthew Elms is a heart-rending Japanese American family-themed inquiry into the dismaying “wages of war.” It is published by the American […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: ‘Support our democratic institutions or we might lose them’

America is still an experiment. That’s the conclusion I come to after experiencing what we went through this last year. We now have a president who blithely ignores all the norms, customs, rules and traditions that have previously been associated with the institution of the presidency, and we seem to have a government run by […]

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