Shig’s Journey: Incarceration through an astute observer’s eyes

A BOY OF HEART MOUNTAIN: Based on and inspired by the experiences of Shigeru Yabu By Barbara Bazaldua, illustrated by Willie Ito (Camarillo, Calif.: Yabitoon Books, 2010, 145 pp., $19.95, paperback) Travel back to the Japanese American community of the 1940s and absorb the history of internment camps while reading what feels like a novel. […]

On mystical wings

THE BOY IN THE GARDEN   By Allen Say (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Children, 2010, 32 pp., $17.99, hardcover)   Reviewed By Twila Tomita, Nichi Bei Weekly Contributor   If you are a fan of Allen Say, you’ll be happy to know that he has a new book, “The Boy in the […]

Hard luck Himiko

MAD AT MOMMY By Komako Sakai (New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2010, 40 pp., $16.99, paperback) Do you remember feeling angry with your mother? This little picture book tells the story of a bunny who is angry with his mom. She doesn’t let him watch cartoons. She always tells him to hurry up, yet […]

Away game

THE LUCKY BASEBALL: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp By Suzanne Lieurance (Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2009, 160 pp., $14.95, paperback) Twelve-year-old Harry Yakamoto lives for baseball. Growing up in Cedar Grove, a small town in Central California with only a handful of Japanese Americans, his peers do not allow Harry and […]

Go macro like Madonna

MAYUMI’S KITCHEN: MACROBIOTIC COOKING FOR THE BODY AND SOUL By Mayumi Nishimura (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2010, 160 pp., $29.95, hardcover) Macrobiotic lifestyles have steadily become popular and mainstream over recent years thanks to Hollywood stars, who rave of their benefits. As Madonna’s personal macrobiotic chef for seven years, Mayumi Nishimura is an expert at creating […]

Hard luck Himiko

ANSHU: DARK SORROW By Juliet S. Kono (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 2010, 327 pp., $18.00, paperback) Being a historian, like other callings, carries its occupational diseases. To be sure, I do not face the same hazards as, say, a coal miner. Instead, my curse is that I am unable to take in historical novels or […]

API writers connect through the power of poetry

No Choice but to Follow Linked poems by Jean Yamasaki Toyama, Juliet S. Kono, Ann Inoshita and Christy Passion (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 2010, 149 pp., $20, paperback) Four poets committed 48 weeks in 2008 to composing linked poems, in part, in celebration of Bamboo Ridge Press’ 30th anniversary. The culmination of Jean Yamasaki Toyama, […]

The skin of a killer

VILLAIN By Shuichi Yoshida (New York: Pantheon, 2010, 295 pp., $25.95, paperback) At first glance, Yoshida’s story of a murder mystery seems like an open-and-shut case. The story sounds predictable and sometimes even clichéd. The “who dunnit?” feel pours over the pages and lets the reader wait for the inevitable twist end; however, the twists […]

Fresh take on an old favorite

SIMPLY JAPANESE: MODERN COOKING FOR THE HEALTHY HOME By Yoko Arimoto (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2010, 160 pp., $27.95, hardcover) With her new book “Simply Japanese,” Yoko Arimoto injects a breath of modern air into traditional Japanese home cooking. While Japanese cooking is often considered to be somewhat time-consuming, given its focus on serving multiple smaller […]

Nikkei recalls imprisonment

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: My Life and Captivity in Iran By Roxana Saberi (New York: Harper, 2010, 321 pp., $25.99, hardcover) By trait, reporters are to remain objective in their pursuit of truth. What happens, then, when the journalist becomes the story? Multiracial Nikkei Roxana Saberi’s “Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran” provides […]