Nobuko Miyamoto’s riveting stories — on and off the stage

NOT YO’ BUTTERFLY: MY LONG SONG OF RELOCATION, RACE, LOVE AND REVOLUTION By Nobuko Miyamoto (Oakland, Calif.: University of California Press, 2021, 344 pp., $29.95, paperback) Playful, provocative, never boring — that sums up Nobuko Miyamoto and her memoir, “Not Yo’ Butterfly.” From a young age, Miyamoto showed promise as a dancer, winning a scholarship […]

Groundbreaking biography of Nisei social justice advocate siblings

NISEI RADICALS: THE FEMINIST POETICS AND TRANSFORMATIVE MINISTRY OF MITSUYE YAMADA AND MICHAEL YASUTAKE By Diane C. Fujino (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020, 272 pp., $29.95, paperback)  In “Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake” Diane Fujino has set herself the formidable task of writing a joint […]

TAIKOPEACE: A movement for connection and community

Last year, San Jose Taiko’s artistic director emeritus and long-time community activist PJ Hirabayashi launched the Website for a movement she calls TaikoPeace. According to Hirabayashi, TaikoPeace is a movement of Japanese traditional drumming for social change and empowerment. Over the past couple of years, Hirabayashi has spread the movement through creating shared values, guided […]

Nobuko Miyamoto releases new double album, ‘120,000 Stories’

On the first track of Nobuko Miyamoto’s brand new double album, “120,000 Stories,” the long-time musician and community activist sings these words from her Asian American Movement song, “We are the Children”: “Sing a song for ourselves. What have we got to lose?” After 50 years of using the arts to create social change and […]

From the strike for ethnic studies to the movement for Black lives

INTRODUCING A NEW COLUMN: We are proud to announce Amy Sueyoshi, the dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, whose new column Nikkei Q seeks to answer the Nikkei community’s most pressing questions on queer topics, such as same-sex sexuality, non-binary gender, and discussion items that are broadly disconcerting or […]

Picture book about a beloved S.F. artist and arts activist

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa Written and illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino (Hudson, N.Y.: 2019, 40 pp., $17.95, hard cover) Andrea D’Aquino, artist and author, introduces young children to Ruth Asawa, a San Francisco institution. The author focuses on the influences that shaped and inspired Asawa’s unique artistry. It begins with […]

A life’s work

The Journey Continues By Peter Yamamoto (San Francisco: National Japanese American Historical Society, 271 pp., $10.95, paperback) Peter Kenichi Yamamoto’s book of poetry, “The Journey Continues” (2020), marks the culmination of the life-labor of a poet and activist who dedicated his creative talents and generous spirit toward the betterment of his community and world. Published […]

Docuseries offers fresh look at Asian American experience

“Asian Americans,” a five-hour film series chronicling the contributions and challenges of the fastest-growing ethnic group in America, is being shown this month on PBS during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Personal histories and new academic research cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it. Renee Tajima-Peña, […]

American activist seriously injured in shooting in the Philippines airlifted back to SF

A San Francisco man seriously injured in a shooting in the Philippines back in August is back home with his family after he was able to flee the country with the help of the U.S. embassy. San Francisco native and environmental activist Brandon Lee arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Oct. 25 after he […]

Exhibit at JANM celebrates emergence of APA consciousness

LOS ANGELES — “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America,” a multi-media exhibit celebrating the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity, is now on display through Oct. 20 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. This co-production of Visual Communications and JANM chronicles the transformation of […]

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