News

TAIKOPEACE: A movement for connection and community

Last year, San Jose Taiko’s artistic director emeritus and long-time community activist PJ Hirabayashi launched the Website for a movement she calls TaikoPeace. According to Hirabayashi, TaikoPeace is a movement of Japanese traditional drumming for social change and empowerment. Over the past couple of years, Hirabayashi has spread the movement through creating shared values, guided […]

A place to ‘share and embrace the Nikkei experience and culture’

GARDENA, Calif. — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, which hosts major events like the South Bay Day of Remembrance and the GVJCI Matsuri, is an institution that “holds the legacy of our pioneering Issei and Nisei, and what they sacrificed and worked so hard to build in hopes to preserve and promote the Japanese […]

CONTINUING TRADITIONS: The evolution of koto artist Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto is literally in the middle of three generations of a family of koto teachers. Rising through the ranks over the years, she was awarded her Dai Shihan master’s degree from the Chikushi Kai Koto School in Fukuoka, Japan in 2000, and was inducted into the Hokka Nichibei Kai Bunka (Japanese Culture) Hall […]

EXTENDING A LIFELINE: Japanese American Association of NY connects and serves community

Spotting the first daffodil leaves poking out of the ground this year brings an extra sense of hope to New York City, after an extremely trying 12 months. It is a promise that their playful yellow blooms will soon grace neighborhood parks large and small throughout the city, offering a reminder that spring always follows […]

Around the Tea Room: Tools of the trade

The following are some of the basic items we use in tea ceremony. There are many more items, and they can vary considerably by the tradition one practices, Omotesenke, Urasenke, Mushanokojisenke, etc. While I practice Omotesenke tea, I have also included a few examples from other schools. In most of the photos you can see […]

A gathering place for the Nikkei community in Canada

The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre’s origins date back to the Japanese Canadian redress movement. Originally named the National Nikkei Heritage Centre, it was created to be “a place where the community could … gather, be open for all and for greater society to engage with Japanese Canadians to understand and learn more about […]

Kimiko Side, 98, is Colorado’s queen of Japanese crafts

DENVER — Kimiko Side is a teacher and artist who’s leaving a huge cultural legacy for anyone in Denver who loves Japanese crafts. When she turned a spry 98-years-young last year, she was still driving herself to Pacific Mercantile, the Japanese supermarket in downtown Denver’s Sakura Square. For decades until the COVID-19 pandemic, she also […]

Farmworkers fight shaped Calif. attorney general nominee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In 1977, Cynthia Bonta was among 3,000 people who locked arms and tried in vain to prevent 400 riot police from evicting the mostly Asian tenants of a hotel near San Francisco’s Financial District so developers could build a parking garage. More than four decades later, her son Rob Bonta stood near […]

Caring for people with dementia

Note: In the Nichi Bei Weekly’s Dec. 17, 2020 issue, Dr. Christine Nguyen’s article featured June Yasuhara’s experience caring for her parents, both of whom have dementia. Yasuhara said she thinks dementia is poorly understood, adding, “Not a lot of Asians share about it, and that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Is there still […]

S.F. school board votes to remove Collins as VP in wake of 2016 tweets that demeaned Asian Americans

The San Francisco Board of Education on March 25 in a vote of no confidence agreed to remove Commissioner Alison Collins from her role as vice president of the board a week after derogatory Twitter comments she made about Asian Americans resurfaced. During a special board meeting, commissioners voted 5-2 on the resolution to remove […]

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