A Nikkei incarceration odyssey

AN INTERNMENT ODYSSEY: HAISHO TENTEN By Suikei Furuya (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2017, 416 pp., $26, paperback) The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i has been responsible — in part — for publishing three remarkable books: “Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei” (2008); “Family Torn Apart: […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

More art of gaman

ALL THAT REMAINS: The Legacy of the World War II Japanese American Internment Camps By Delphine Hirasuna (San Francisco: Delphine Hirasuna, 2016, 64 pp., $20, paperback) Available at http://www.studio-hinrichs.com/store/allthatremains.html or the San Francisco Japanese American Citizens League. Delphine Hirasuna’s new volume “All That Remains,” written in collaboration with Kit Hinrichs and Terry Heffernan, forms part […]

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