Community News

Mourning from a distance comes at a cost: patience

The coronavirus pandemic has endangered the lives of millions worldwide, putting the elderly, in particular, at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website, eight out of 10 adults in the United States who have died from the virus were 65 years old or older. The pandemic has deprived families from being […]

Q-and-A with longtime activist and mentor Alan Nishio

Editor’s Note: This Q-and-A-format interview was originally posted on the Manzanar Committee’s blog prior to the 2020 virtual Manzanar Pilgrimage. https://manzanarcommittee.org/2020/04/25/nishio-q Alan Nishio, who is the keynote speaker for our 2020 Virtual Manzanar Pilgrimage, was awarded the Manzanar Committee’s 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Award for his leadership during the Redress Movement in the 1980s, along […]

L.A.’s Japanese Community Pioneer Center founded out of necessity

LOS ANGELES — The Japanese Community Pioneer Center was established out of necessity, to serve older Japanese Americans who had endured decades of racial discrimination and had re-established their lives after returning from World War II concentration camps, the center’s chairman of the board Haru Takehana explained. “In 1964, after the United States Congress passed […]

FOR THE COMMUNITY: Melody Takata’s three decades of teaching Japanese arts

Melody Takata has been drumming taiko for around four decades, starting in Los Angeles as a high school student with L.A. Matsuri Taiko before moving to Tokyo for a year during college to study with Oedo Sukeroku Taiko. After finishing her studies, she moved to San Francisco to work with artists in Northern California. She […]

Akashi-Kama: A mixture of Japanese aesthetic and modern American streetwear

It took a trip to Japan to inspire Alec Nakashima, a former product manager for a tech company, to create a clothing brand that reflects his identity: feeling both Japanese and American. Nakashima went on the Japanese American Citizens League’s Kakehashi grassroots exchange program to Japan in March 2018. He was in awe of the […]

THE Joy of Home Gardening: Community garden feeds the body and mind

When Kota Morikawa got word from the city that he was finally able to start gardening at a community garden, he had all but forgotten that he was in line to start a vegetable garden at the Willlowgate Community Garden in Mountain View, Calif. Morikawa, a former food editor for the Nichi Bei Times Japanese […]

Bookseller, like Japanese American community, perseveres through challenges

SAN MATEO, Calif. — Women, children, mothers, fathers, families. Some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent were trapped behind barbed wire fences for having a cultural connection to Japan during World War II. In 1970 the Japanese American Curriculum Project, renamed the Asian American Curriculum Project in 1985, began its humble endeavor to educate the public […]

Summer is fun time for Southern California Bon Odori junkies

LOS ANGELES — Summer is a joyful season for many thousands of Southern California Nikkei as they participate in numerous traditional Buddhist Obon observances — as well as non-Buddhist summer festivities — and most include some Japanese dancing. Obon is a traditional event to honor and thank one’s ancestors for the gift of life. Most […]

Bon Odori is a tradition even far from the West Coast

Japanese Americans who don’t live on the West Coast joke that you can go to a different Bon Odori every weekend in California, and dance away your summer. Not so in the geographically isolated Rocky Mountain region, where a few cities such as Denver, Salt Lake City and some other smaller towns host Obon festivals […]

Socially conscious gifts

If you’re looking to donate to a nonprofit organization in the name of a loved one, whether you’re giving in solidarity with a marginalized community, or in protest of the innumerable injustices that abound, there are many ways to empower the underserved by supporting organizations that work directly with them. RAICES: Refugee and Immigrant Center […]

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