Political Pioneer: The First Asian American Governor

NJAHS annual awards dinner keynote speaker Governor George Ariyoshi became the third governor of Hawai‘i in 1974, promoted from lieutenant governor after the sitting Governor John Burns had to step down due to illness. He became the first Asian American and Japanese American governor in America, and also the first Hawai‘i-born governor of the state. […]

NJAHS Awards Celebrate Japanese American Accomplishments and U.S.-Japan Relations

On March 27, the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) held its annual awards dinner, with the theme of “New Beginnings, Bold Visions,” honoring leaders who have made great achievements for the Japanese American community. The event, which featured former Governor of Hawai‘i George Ariyoshi as its keynote speaker, also acknowledged the 150th anniversary of […]

Used Adult Diapers Get New Life as Fuel

TOKYO — Japan’s rapidly aging population is providing business opportunities for manufacturing companies who have found a way to utilize tons of used paper diapers. After noticing that the bulk of diapers disposed of by hospitals and nursing homes were being sent to incineration plants, Super Faiths Inc. of Tokyo has developed a machine to […]

NUMMI’s Closure Marks ‘A Very Sad Day,’ Says Mayor

FREMONT, Calif. — After a quarter-century of production, the last car rolled off the assembly line at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont April 1 and workers headed home to uncertain futures. “It’s a very sad day for Fremont,” Mayor Bob Wasserman said. Sergio Santos, president of United Auto Workers Local 2244, […]

The Yellow Peril Revisited

Roger Shimomura is known for using his art to challenge racism and stereotypes and to explore Japanese American identity. Since the 1970s, the Kansas-based artist has been combining the concepts and aesthetics of pop art with the look of ukiyo-e (Japanese wood-block printing), juxtaposing iconic American imagery to make bold statements about the way we […]

Young Leaders Organize Peers to Discuss SF J-Town’s Future

On March 27, a group of youth and young adults gathered for a day of discussion about ways they can play an active role in shaping the future of San Francisco’s Japantown. Frustrated by the current draft of Japantown’s Better Neighborhood Plan (BNP), which will inform the future of its development for decades to come, […]

Final Northern California Japanese American Senior Centers Shinnen Kai Held

Roz Enomoto remembers the excitement of the first Shinnen Kai (New Year’s Celebration) 29 years ago at the College of San Mateo. “I was a charter member and organized the first Shinnen Kai. I remember that we had 700 people, it was mammoth. I like the gathering of Japanese Americans,” said Enomoto, the retired director […]

San Jose Japantown’s Sak N’ Sak — Saving the Earth One Bag at a Time

SAN JOSE — Kathy Sakamoto’s trip to the Guggenheim Museum in New York last year was a turning point in her life — it inspired her to start her own business. After viewing a display of tote bags recycled from old city banners at the museum store, Sakamoto teamed with business partner Lydia Uchida-Sakai to […]

Historic Voyage Marked Beginning of 150 Years of U.S.-Japan Relations

Curious Americans gathered in droves to see them. Dressed in robes, their hair in topknots, the Japanese who arrived in San Francisco 150 years ago this month on the Kanrin Maru, the first Japanese ship to visit this country, stunned the Americans they encountered. The fascination was mutual. Members of the Japanese delegation crunched quizzically […]

Manjiro’s Role in Pacific Ties

Though the Kanrin Maru’s arrival from Japan represented the first official visit by Japanese, a young fisherman — who would eventually play a pivotal role in U.S.-Japan relations — made the first voyage to this country. A fisherman from a small village, Nakahama Manjiro was shipwrecked at the age of 14 on Torishima Island. Manjiro […]

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