IN REMEMBRANCE: Website documents wartime incarceration, one photo at a time

Inspired by the accounts of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II, photographer Andy Frazer now shares their stories through profiles on his Website, Kioku: Portraits of Japanese-American Internment. Kioku means remembrance in Japanese. Frazer interviews the former inmates and shoots black-and-white images that he then displays online at www.gorillasites.com/kioku/default.htm. “The original goal […]

Independent filmmaker gives 442nd a voice

Burt Takeuchi graduated with a degree in biology from San Jose State University in 1995, but in his latest venture, the only thing he’s dissected was hours of oral history interviews. The Sansei native of West Los Angeles, who grew up in the San Jose area, is a Screen Actors Guild member who has played […]

A legendary artist’s lifetime of loneliness

THE EAST-WEST HOUSE: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan By Christy Hale (New York: Lee and Low Books, 2009, 32 pp., $17.95, hardcover) Always having been curious about the life of biracial artist Isamu Noguchi, I was pleased to receive this book to review. Palo Alto, Calif. author and illustrator Christy Hale has created a lovely picture […]

Reading for recovery

In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis, social media played a key role in raising funds for victims in the earthquake and tsunami-hit region. Through social media and e-book publications, several fundraising efforts have come to fruition in the form of books. Here are two books that support relief […]

Love and marriage

SCENES FROM AN IMPENDING MARRIAGE By Adrian Tomine (Montréal, Canada: Drawn & Quarterly, 2011, 56 pp., $9.95, hard cover) There are several things about Adrian Tomine’s “Scenes from an Impending Marriage” that mark it as a departure from his previous work. The 50-page comic documents Tomine and his (then) fiancé Sarah’s wedding planning process, making […]

Rice, it’s what’s for dinner

THE HAWAI’I BOOK OF RICE: TALES, TRIVIA AND 101 GREAT RECIPES By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi (Honolulu: Watermark Publishing, 2011, $15.95, paperback) A blend of history book, storybook and cookbook, “The Hawai’i Book of Rice” introduces readers to rice through a collection of personal anecdotes and original recipes gathered from chefs, individuals, and organizations. The influence […]

Mass mascot mania

FUZZ & FUR: JAPAN’S COSTUMED CHARACTERS By Edward and John Harrison (New York: Mark Batty Publisher, 2011, 144 pp., $16.95, hardcover) Edward and John Harrison put together a collection of photos to introduce to Americans the phenomenon of anthropomorphized mascots that represent Japanese prefectures, towns, districts and businesses. Inside their collection are lovable plush mascots […]

Anecdotes from times now past

THE DEMON AT AGI BRIDGE AND OTHER JAPANESE TALES Edited by Haruo Shirane and translated by Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010, 160 pp., $22.50, paperback) Ancient texts from Japan are always a pleasure to read. They are filled with some of most fanciful stories available to readers, and provide enchanting tales similar […]

From the Yamato Colony to ‘Mr. YMCA’

PEARLS: THE FRED Y. HOSHIYAMA STORY As told to Doug Nakashima, edited by Craig Altschul ed. (Chicago: Marshall Jones, 2010, 67 pp., $24.95, paperback) This must be the season for memoirs, and “Pearls: The Fred Y. Hoshiyama Story” is another wonderful addition to “telling” the story of Nisei accomplishments that are often muted or understated […]

A Nisei resolve for social justice

Manzanar and Beyond: Memoirs of Frank F. Chuman, Nisei Attorney By Frank F. Chuman with foreword by Daniel Inouye and introduction by Dale Minami (San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc., 2011, 153 pp., $15.95, paperback) A timely and accessible memoir written at the prompting of Chuman’s children, who collectively urged him to “write […]

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