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 […]

Reflecting upon ancestors in the Konko religious tradition

In the Konko faith, we call ancestors “mitama” in Japanese, which means “divine spirit.” The Konko founder said, “Because humans are born through the blessings of Kami/God, they must also die with the blessings of Kami. Therefore, if a child’s birth is a happy event, then death is a much happier event since one becomes […]

Aloha and the Ancestors: Goodbye, welcome back, we love you

The topic of traditions to honor our ancestors brings me back to my “small kid days” as a Sansei Okinawan growing up on the island of Kaua‘i in Hawai‘i. On Sundays I was taught at the Christian church that sinners would go to hell. Sin included both murder and worshipping “graven images.” After church, my […]

Planning a memorial in North Dakota

We gathered over the Memorial Day weekend as special guests of United Tribes Technical College, located on the grounds of Fort Lincoln, Bismarck, N.D. This was one of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) internment sites that operated between 1941 to 1946, holding approximately 1,800 Japanese and 1,500 Germans. Overall, about 6,000 Germans and Japanese from […]

Fifth annual Florin Manzanar Pilgrimage A vital journey into understanding

A Pakistani American high school student from the city of Elk Grove, an adult education teacher from Berkeley, a World War II Military Intelligence Service veteran from Merced, a Nisei draft resister from Galt, and two peace activists from Davis. What could bring such a hodgepodge of people together? The Florin Manzanar Pilgrimage — a vital […]

Multiracial: At home in the world

Growing up multiethnic (a mixture of Japanese, Filipino and Spanish blood) on three continents (Asia, Europe and the U.S.) means that I feel at home in many environments; or rather, that different parts of me feel at home in different environments. It means that I am not 100 percent the child of any one country […]

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