Parts of Sendai destroyed, but not its humanity

March 11, 2011, 2:47 p.m., a date and time no one in Miyagi Prefecture and the Tohoku Region will ever forget. I had just returned to the Miyagi prefectural government office after visiting one of our local miso companies. I was sitting at my desk, getting ready for a meeting with my boss, when the […]

Ways to help the survivors (a partial list)

  San Francisco   Rainbow World Fund Saturday, April 9 to Thursday, April 14 The Rainbow World Fund (RWF) established the LGBT Japan Earthquake Fund and is launching a series of events to support relief efforts for the survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The RWF has designated April 9-14 as […]

STRONG, GENTLE AND BEAUTIFUL: Judo master Keiko Fukuda’s legacy

2011 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Co-Grand Marshal Keiko Fukuda photo courtesy of Yuriko Gamo Romer   Despite being the highest ranking female judo master in the world, Keiko Fukuda is relentlessly modest. This year, at age 98, she was honored at the National Japanese American Historical Society awards dinner, and has been selected as […]

MASTER OF CEREMONIES: The Festival, through the eyes of the Parade’s voice

Since the early 1970s, George Yamasaki Jr. has been the voice of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. As emcee, Yamasaki narrates the Parade action as it runs its course — and has had plenty of experience thinking on his feet as floats stall or the order of participants changes without notice. Yamasaki, who […]

YONSEI RAPPERS ON A HIP-HOP JOURNEY: ScoJourners claim their history and connect across borders through rap

It’s not easy being independent these days. All the harder if you are a group of hip-hop artists committed to musical integrity in an era of the corporatized, cookie-cutter music. Even tougher when you are Asian Americans, meaning you don’t exactly fit the mold of the generic rapper. But galvanized by a love for the […]

Ways you can help survivors in Northern Japan (a partial list)

United States Bakesale for Japan Saturday, April 2 A number of professional and amateur bakers, cooks, artists, artisans, and musicians from around the nation, and in Toronto, will offer their Bakesale for Japan event, featuring baked goods by professional and amateur bakers alike. The bake sale, which takes place Saturday, April 2, aims to raise […]

THE KAERU KID: N’awlins is alive and well

A recent visit to one of my favorite cities brought back some wonderful memories as well as a full tummy. With great pleasure, I report that New Orleans is alive and well and recovering nicely from Hurricane Katrina. The French Quarter and nearby environs don’t even appear to have been affected, since it was situated […]

JET teachers in Miyagi say they won’t leave

SENDAI, Japan — Many foreign teachers have decided to stay in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas worst hit by the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and tsunami, despite adversities wrought by the disaster and worried families back home urging their immediate return amid radiation fears. For some, a strong sense of attachment to their adopted […]

Junji Ito’s Gyo to become an anime

Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy-dog tails. Junji Ito is made of Maggots and offal and kitty-cats. I discovered Junji Ito as a young high schooler browsing Borders. It was there I discovered the magic of  “Uzumaki,” a few years […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Cuisine for the seasons

Kaiseki ryori, the formal multi-course Japanese meal that highlights seasonal ingredients just as they become available, isn’t limited just to multi-starred Japanese restaurants or top-level ryokan. You can also find the same meal in Hawai‘i — served in accordance with each season at Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas right in Honolulu. Chef Hiroshi Fukui originally started these […]

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