Journo sisters spill all

SOMEWHERE INSIDE: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home By Laura Ling and Lisa Ling (New York: William Morrow, 2010, 322 pp., $26.99, hardcover) At its heart, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home,” centers on relationships, namely that […]

Mean streets

TOKYO VICE: AN AMERICAN REPORTER ON THE POLICE BEAT IN JAPAN By Jake Adelstein (New York: Pantheon, 2009, 335 pp., $26.00, hardcover) Chasing stories for the world’s biggest newspaper was tough on Jake Adelstein. As a crime reporter for the Yomiuri Shinbun, he had his share of run-ins with yakuza thugs. Getting occasionally slapped around […]

LOST: The disappearance of Lompoc’s Japanese

Vanished, Lompoc’s Japanese: Of One Hundred Families Only Two Returned By John V. McReynolds (Lompoc: Press Box Productions. 2010, 193 pp., $13.95, paperback) John McReynolds, a former sports writer for the Lompoc Record, was propelled into the investigation of 100 or so Japanese families who settled and built a community in Lompoc before World War […]

Uncovering the only voluntary work camp for Japanese inmates

IMPRISONED IN PARADISE: JAPANESE INTERNEE ROAD WORKERS AT THE WORLD WAR II KOOSKIA INTERNMENT CAMP By Priscilla Wegars (Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 2010, 357 pp., $19.95, paperback) Most people can barely pronounce Kooskia (KOOS-key), Idaho, let alone know what took place there during World War II. Priscilla Wegars brings to light what went on […]

Comprehensive volume counters the notion of a welcoming nation

ANGEL ISLAND: IMMIGRANT GATEWAY TO AMERICA By Erika Lee and Judy Yung. (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2010, 432 pp., $27.95, hard cover) Erika Lee and Judy Yung, both well known and respected in their own right as accomplished historians, have combined their research skills and writing talents in producing the most comprehensive and […]

Author of ‘Kau Kau’ book on cuisine of Hawai‘i speaks in SF’s Japantown

On Aug. 8, more than 150 people gathered at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) in San Francisco’s Japantown to hear Arnold Hiura, author of “Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands,” give a lecture on Hawai‘i’s food. Part cookbook, part coffee table and history book, “Kau Kau,” released […]

A timeless tale of wartime loss — now a children’s book

In 1942, when Yoshito Wayne Osaki was forced into an American concentration camp along with some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, he and his family could take only what they could carry. For Osaki, this meant leaving behind his prized possession and best friend: his dog Teny. As his family set off for the camp, […]

BOOK REVIEW: Fragments of history and the fight for human rights

WHEREVER THERE’S A FIGHT: HOW RUNAWAY SLAVES, SUFFRAGISTS, IMMIGRANTS, STRIKERS, AND POETS SHAPED CIVIL LIBERTIES IN CALIFORNIA By Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi (Berkeley: Heyday, 2009, 512 pp., $24.95, paperback) In “Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California,” authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi take […]

BOOK REVIEW: Bento boxes, cute and edible

Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches By Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa. (Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2010, 143 pp., $16.95, paperback) What do “Baby Bear,” “Fluffy Lamb,” “Hawaii Sun,” “Guardian Angel,” and “Beach Party Hot Dog” have in common? They’re all the given names of just a few of the particular bento types detailed […]

BOOK REVIEW: Images of camp, what remains

PLACING MEMORY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF JAPANESE AMERICAN INTERNMENT By Todd Stewart, Essays By Natasha Egan and Karen J. Leong. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, 121 pp., $34.95, hardcover) “Placing Memory” is a wonderful and welcome addition to the existing body of photographic works capturing images of Japanese Americans’ concentration camp experiences. Stewart’s work […]