Naomi Osaka stayed above the fray to claim first Grand Slam title

NEW YORK  — As Serena Williams’ U.S. Open final crumbled around her on Sept. 8, Japan’s Naomi Osaka said she had to stay above the fray in order to keep her historic run to Grand Slam history alive. With code violations, broken rackets, tears and accusations of cheating coming from Williams’ end of the court, Osaka […]

Japanese baseball ‘Iron Man’ Kinugasa, son of African American, dead at 71

TOKYO — Hall of Famer Sachio Kinugasa, whose 2,215 consecutive games remain a Japanese record, died of colon cancer April 23 aged 71, people familiar with the matter said. Nicknamed “Iron Man,” Kinugasa played for the Hiroshima Carp from 1965 to 1987 and was the Central League’s 1984 MVP. He is tied for fifth in […]

Asian American Orchestra to celebrate Black History Month, commemorate DOR with new work

Anthony Brown, who is of African and Japanese heritage, will commemorate the intersection of his biracial identity as part of a 20-year retrospective of his Grammy-nominated Asian American Orchestra Feb. 18 at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, celebrating Black History Month and observing the Day of Remembrance. The Day of Remembrance reflects upon the 76th […]

Okinawa-born Dave Roberts introduced as first minority manager of L.A. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — Well into a 35-minute press conference announcing his arrival as the 10th manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Roberts was thrown a curveball. Flanked by the men who hired him  — Los Angeles General Manager Farhan Zaidi and President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman  — Roberts, who was born in Okinawa […]

Not Japanese Enough? Miss Universe Japan looks to fight prejudice

TOKYO — At first glance, Ariana Miyamoto might not be instantly recognized as a Japanese woman. But the 21-year-old model and former bartender — who in March became the first mixed-race contestant to be crowned “Miss Universe Japan” — was born and raised in Japan, and Japanese is her native language. But because of her […]

Nikkei teen, said to be Disney’s first biracial lead character, stars in ‘Big Hero 6’

Ryan Potter provides the voice of Hiro Hamada, a young genius-turned-superhero in Disney’s latest animated film “Big Hero 6.” The 19-year-old Potter, whose father is Japanese and mother is Caucasian, plays what he describes as the first biracial main protagonist of a Disney film. Born in Portland, Ore., Potter moved to Tokyo a few months after […]

Postwar adoptees from Japan make connections, share stories in U.S.

LOS ANGELES — Kei LaFleur has a story behind the name she grew up with, and she said that story has given her much to be thankful for. Born in the fall of 1954 to, she believes, a Japanese mother and American father, she was named Keiko and put in the care of the Elizabeth […]

A legendary artist’s lifetime of loneliness

THE EAST-WEST HOUSE: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan By Christy Hale (New York: Lee and Low Books, 2009, 32 pp., $17.95, hardcover) Always having been curious about the life of biracial artist Isamu Noguchi, I was pleased to receive this book to review. Palo Alto, Calif. author and illustrator Christy Hale has created a lovely picture […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Multiracial pacifist and activist, Yone Stafford

One of the more pleasant aspects of doing “The Great Unknown” is the responses that I get to my columns from readers, including friends and family members of the people whom I write about. They not only offer praise but provide additional information and inspire further work. Not long ago I did a column about […]

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