Ikebana teacher follows family’s legacy of service, sees “revival” in the art

Her grandfather, the Rev. Shozen Naito, was a minister at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda before World War II; her grandmother taught Sogetsu ikebana in the 1970s and Japanese language at the same temple. Her father, Kiyoshi Naito, served as the temple’s board president for three different terms. Following two generations of family leadership at […]

Tiffany Tamaribuchi’s multifaceted Sacramento Taiko Dan family

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — “My mom would say from the time I could walk, I would stand in front of the taiko,” said 51-year-old Tiffany Tamaribuchi, recalling her earliest encounter with the drums at a Sacramento Obon festival. Her captivation with the Japanese drum would lead her to establish Sacramento Taiko Dan in 1989 at just […]

S.F. Cherry Blossom Queen candidates announced

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program presented its 2018 queen candidates during its annual preview March 11 at the Union Bank Community Room in San Francisco’s Japantown. The queen program, a highlight of San Francisco’s annual cherry blossom festival, will take place Saturday, April 14 at the AMC Kabuki 8. The candidates are: […]

American nightmare turned into American Dream

“Moving Walls” by Sharon Yamato recounts the Japanese American experience at the Heart Mountain, Wyo. concentration camp during World War II, and also discloses what happened after the war to the 457 barracks that had housed more than 10,700 ethnic Japanese from 1942-45. The film describes how young veterans (including one Nisei, Tak Ogawa) seeking […]

‘Never Give Up!’ focuses on civil rights icon Minoru Yasui’s legacy

“Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice,” by Holly Yasui and Will Doolittle, highlights the life of Minoru Yasui, who during World War II intentionally violated Executive Order 9066, the presidential orders that resulted in the incarceration of more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in United States concentration camps. Minoru Yasui, […]

Addressing the silence

Following World War II, Japanese Americans returned home to the West Coast from various concentration camps. The experience, traumatic and humiliating for many former inmates, became a taboo subject for numerous families. Often times, their children would not learn about their incarceration until years later. Marlene Shigekawa, a filmmaker based in Lafayette, Calif., explores that […]

And then they stood up for them

Japanese Americans held a candlelight vigil in San Francisco’s Japantown in November 2016, following the election of President Donald Trump. Abby Ginzberg’s “And Then They Came For Us” opens with this scene as Asian Americans and the Muslim community expressed solidarity following a presidential campaign fraught with xenophobia, homophobia and Islamophobia. The year-long campaign by […]

Taking a Stand: Despite battling cancer, Sen. Hirono shines in national spotlight

Editor’s Note: Mazie Hirono made history in 2012, when she became the first elected female senator from Hawai‘i, the first Asian American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, the first U.S. senator born in Japan, and the nation’s first Buddhist senator. In the middle of a turbulent political year, she announced in May 2017 that […]

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders shine on screen amid political turmoil

In a year characterized by countless horrors unfolding across the globe, the realm of Asian American entertainment media offers a surprising — and as such, somewhat disorienting — bright spot. From mainstream film and television to digitally distributed indie films and prestige TV, there’s plenty to celebrate in 2017. In terms of personal enjoyment, I […]

Hope amid hardship

THE HOPE OF ANOTHER SPRING: TAKUICHI FUJII, ARTIST AND WARTIME WITNESS By Barbara Johns (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017, 352 pp., $39.95, hardback) This altogether beautiful book by noted Seattle-based art historian and curator Barbara Johns strikingly testifies to the oft-stated judgment that a picture is worth a thousand words. The core of “The […]

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