Remembering Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leader Frank Emi

Frank Seishi Emi was a fighter. The word “retreat” was not in Frank’s vocabulary. He, and he alone, would decide when it was time to move on. Sadly, that time has arrived. Frank’s battle began in 1943 in the Heart Mountain concentration camp when the so-called “loyalty questionnaire” was circulated, ostensibly to help the government […]

The Power of Words resolution, three months later

It has been over three months since the National Council of the JACL passed the Power of Words (POW) resolution at the July 2010 National Convention in Chicago. It was amazing to have 80 chapters voting for the resolution with only two chapters voting against. As a devoted proponent of the proposal from its inception […]

Reflections on the push for Asian American studies at UIC

It has been quite some time since I last walked through the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus. There are distinct memories I carry with me about my time in college. For instance, the gigantic cement structures, the time Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman filmed “Stranger than Fiction” at UIC, and eating pizza puffs […]

EDITORIAL: Happy Birthday … to … us!

With this week’s issue, we have reached a milestone that was probably somewhat unthinkable, at least unimaginable, in the early days of our struggle to rebuild as a nonprofit newspaper. Today, it’s our first anniversary, so to speak. The first edition of the Nichi Bei Weekly rolled off the presses in its innovative and groundbreaking […]

Commentary: Three generations visit former Granada camp

Recently in July I visited the Amache (formally known as Granada) internment camp in Granada, Colo., along with 12 other family members. We represented three generations (Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei) coming from multiple cities (Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco). Three people in our group were former internees — including both my parents and my […]

Opinion: The firing of Don Wakamatsu

In the end, I’m just sad the Mariners felt they had to fire manager Don Wakamatsu. I wanted to believe the front office saddled him with a roster of players who just couldn’t hit, and who especially couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position, but I’m told by those close to the team that the manager concurred in those […]

For a more queer-friendly Japanese America

This past May, a friend who volunteers for a Japanese-language bilingual program at a San Francisco public school faced harassment by another Japanese language teacher in the faculty lounge for being a lesbian. My friend Keiko had a rainbow pin on her backpack signifying lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride and a Japanese co-worker of […]

A call to raise much-needed seed funds in our efforts to save the community press

Dear Supporter, On behalf of the Nichi Bei Foundation, we would like to thank you for your past support. Many of you have already reached into your pockets to help to kick-start our movement, donating funds that were absolutely essential to our launch of the first nonprofit ethnic newspaper of its kind in the country, […]

Japantown 2010 – The Last Hurrah?

This is a commentary by a former “San Francisco boy” who attended the June 16, 2010 Japan[town] meeting which was designed to provide an update on the status of ongoing proceedings with “City Hall” staffers assigned by the San Francisco Planning Department. The meeting was to provide official oversight and gain an understanding of the […]

Honoring our ancestors in the Tenrikyo religious tradition

Obon is of course a part of the Buddhist tradition, but it is also a part of the annual calendar for many Japanese because it resonates with something very important to the heart of many Japanese: the idea of paying respects to those who lived before us. The Tenrikyo tradition observes a memorial service twice […]