Late poet’s grace shines through tragedies

ARE YOU AN ECHO? THE LOST POETRY OF MISUZU KANEKO Test and translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi; illustrations by Toshikado Hajiri (Seattle: Chin Music Press, 2016, 64 pp., $19.50, hardcover) This is a sad and lovely story about a young poet and the legacy of her work. A poet named Setsuo […]

A flavorful take on ramen

SIMPLY RAMEN: A COMPLETE COURSE IN PREPARING RAMEN MEALS AT HOME By Amy Kimoto-Kahn (New York: Race Point Publishing, 2016, 176 pp., hardcover, $22.95 ) With the recent surge of ramen’s popularity, this book will interest any ramen fiend or foodie that’s ready to take on homemade (non-instant) ramen. In the words of a chapter […]

The art of sushi

SUSHI ART COOKBOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO KAZARI SUSHI By Ken Kawasumi (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 128 pp., hardcover, $18.95) If you are a serious foodie interested in food art or sushi, this book might be for you. But this book is definitely for you if you’re a chef or aspiring chef, or […]

Ramen history served up in bite-sized pieces

THE DISCOVERY OF RAMEN: THE ASIAN HALL OF FAME By Phil Amara and Oliver Chin, illustrated by Juan Calle (San Francisco: Immedium Publishers, 2017, 40 pp., hardcover) If you enjoy eating ramen, this colorfully illustrated book might provide tasty reading. This book is the first in “The Asian Hall of Fame” series, which will highlight discoveries […]

Finding the melody

HANA HASHIMOTO, SIXTH VIOLIN By Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Qin Leng (Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Kids Can Press, 2014, 32 pp.; $16.95, hardcover)
 Little Hana Hashimoto is going to play in the school talent show. Inspired by her grandfather, formerly a violinist with a symphony in Kyoto, she announces her debut after only three lessons. Her older […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The grain that binds us

What is the one constant not just during Oshogatsu but throughout the whole year? It’s not toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles), which is usually only consumed right before the turning of the new year. Sure, we may consume soba during the year, but not with any regularity. And it’s not lobster or shrimp that symbolizes a […]

Recapturing and reinventing a young heroine’s Bay Area WWII-era memories

THE LITTLE EXILE By JEANETTE S. ARAKAWA (Albany, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 240 pp., $14.95, paperback) “The Little Exile” leaps off the page into a 1940s reel-to-reel, with the vivid descriptions of settings, facial cues, expressive emotions and live action that follows lead character Marie Mitsui. Each chapter has a song title of the era, […]

Making friends through paper art 


ORIGAMI PEACE CRANES: FRIENDSHIPS TAKE FLIGHT 
 Written and illustrated by Sue DiCicco (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 32 pp., 12 sheets of origami, $12.95, hardcover) This is an upbeat children’s book about making friends. When young Emma enrolls in a new school, she struggles with lack of self-confidence. Her classmates reach out to her, […]

Complicat(i)ng the ‘mosaic’ of history

THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY Edited by David K. Yoo and Eiichiro Azuma (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, 544 pp., $150, hardcover) This impressive volume, published at the semi-centennial of Asian American studies, serves admirably as an authoritative marker of Asian American history’s coming of age. Edited by two stalwarts in the […]

Sakura Grove to bloom in Sacramento’s Southside Park

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hanami, or flower viewing, is the Japanese tradition of gathering under sakura (cherry blossom) trees to enjoy the annual spring blossoms with friends and family. In Japan, people travel from all across the country to experience hanami in various regions. Cherry blossom trees can be viewed in a few places in the […]

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