Community News

The roots of California bonsai, the Issei and Nisei artists of yesteryear

The art of bonsai has contended with a number of challenges throughout the years. Unlike other works of art, bonsai plants are alive and continue growing even after the artist has long since passed. Rooted in Issei and Nisei hobbyist practitioners, bonsai is a curious art split along generational lines in America. “I think I […]

Ikebana showcases nature’s beauty

Ikebana can help one see nature with a different perspective, particularly as practitioners bring beauty into their homes, said Thanh Nguyen, president of the Ikebana Teachers Federation.  Ikebana can teach people “how to take the beauty from nature and apply it to your normal life,” she told the Nichi Bei Weekly in a phone interview. […]

Mental health program helps AAPI youth

Last November, Changing Tides created CT Stream, a free Little Tokyo Service Center therapy program aimed at providing assistance for Asian American and Pacific Islander youth experiencing mental health issues. The program, located in Los Angeles, provides six to 10 therapy sessions per participant. The Changing Tides program was established in 2018. “As we’ve grown and as […]

Mark Matsuno, Hollywood graphic designer and artist, dies at 69

Not many people knew Mark Matsuno by name, but his lifetime of work has touched countless people without them ever noticing. The San Francisco-native, born March 24, 1952, moved down to Los Angeles at the age of 20 to work in advertising and specialized in producing printed promotional materials for Hollywood movies. Working on marketing […]

East Bay senior center pioneers look back at roots

Continuing J-Sei’s celebration of its 50th anniversary, the organization held its “Cultivating Communities: Legacy of Centers in the East Bay” virtual event Oct. 21 to discuss the history of the Nikkei senior centers that originated from students organizing at the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. Kevin Toyama, a J-Sei board member, moderated the discussion […]

Joy in Japangeles

Japangeles, a Los Angeles Little Tokyo streetwear clothing shop, had to close its doors for more than half of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Roy Kuroyanagi, a Sansei, established the store in 2010, its Website states. He had always been interested in clothing and streetwear and “wanted to find a way to express my […]

S.F. JACL shifts gears during pandemic, distributes safety alarms to seniors

Elena Nielsen hopes to raise an LGBTQ Pride flag next May in San Francisco’s Japantown. The San Francisco chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, of which Nielsen is a new board member, is pursuing the project. Nielsen has “had this dream of seeing the pride flag raised in S.F. Japantown, representing our queer Nikkei […]

Sudoku maker Maki Kaji, who saw life’s joy in puzzles, diesx-

TOKYO — Maki Kaji, the creator of the popular numbers puzzle Sudoku whose life’s work was spreading the joy of puzzles, has died, his Japanese company said Aug. 17. He was 69 and had bile duct cancer. Known as the “Godfather of Sudoku,” Kaji created the puzzle to be easy for children and others who […]

Diana Akiyama, the 1st Asian American female bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

Growing up in Hood River, Ore., Diana Akiyama returned home late last year after becoming the first Asian American woman bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon. Originally born on the coast, Akiyama’s family moved inland to a Japanese American community when she was a child. She rode her bike in the valley, spent summers […]

Obon’s history and a modern celebration

The Rev. Matt Hamasaki defines Obon as “a time when we honor those who have gone before us.” In sharing the history of Obon, the Buddhist Church of Sacramento Betsuin reverend told a story Buddhists learn about the Urabon sutra, where Buddha disciple Mokuren develops supernatural powers and sees his deceased mother suffering in the […]

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