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 […]

In pursuit of a ‘whole and free’ society

FREEDOM WITHOUT JUSTICE: THE PRISON MEMOIRS OF CHOL SOO LEE Edited by Richard S. Kim (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2017, 323 pp., $19.99, paperback) I grew up in a law-and-order family. There was no contradiction between my parents’ experience of the Japanese American incarceration, and their fundamental respect for the U.S. criminal justice system. […]

San Francisco’s Japantown plans for preservation

San Francisco’s Japantown experienced several notable changes in 2017 and aims to implement and secure resources for the continuity of one of the nation’s last three historical Japantowns. As the ethnic enclave moves forward into 2018, several organizations based in the neighborhood must seriously consider their mission and focus for the coming years. New Organization […]

A case study of Heart Mountain’s draft resisters and military service

WYOMING SAMURAI: THE WORLD WAR II WARRIORS OF HEART MOUNTAIN By Mike Mackey (Cody, Wyo.: Western History Publications, 2015, 181 pp., $18.95, paperback) This is Mike Mackey’s fifth and, apparently, final book centered on the World War II experience of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northwest Wyoming. Mackey, who has made his home in […]

Sacramento group preserves Japanese folk dancing and music

Through its long history, with roots dating back to the late 1940s, the Sacramento, Calif.-based Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai has gone through a few changes, but its core remains the same: a love for traditional Japanese arts. Known now for its Japanese folk dancing and music, the group wasn’t always primarily made up of […]

‘Telling Stories’ shorts at Films of Remembrance spotlights little-known WWII episodes

The Nichi Bei Foundation will present the sixth annual Films of Remembrance Saturday, Feb. 25 at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post St. in San Francisco’s Japantown. Three short films, each telling the World War II incarceration experience through unique lenses, compose the “Telling Stories” shorts program at 12:15 p.m. For more information or tickets, […]

Arkansas ‘Relocation’: Film explores impact of camps on inmates’ children

In 1942, some 120,000 West Coast Japanese Americans were taken from their homes and imprisoned in concentration camps throughout the country. A film showing the impact of the incarceration on the children born to inmates in the Rohwer camp, or after the Arkansas camp closed down, will be shown in conjunction with the Day of […]

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