BOOK REVIEW: Kashiwagi’s perspective, style shines

OCEAN BEACH By Hiroshi Kashiwagi (San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc., 2010, 98 pp., $12 paperback) For more than half a century now, Hiroshi Kashiwagi has been quietly building himself an eclectic and accomplished artistic career as a poet, playwright and performer. With the recent publication of his first collection of poetry, “Ocean […]

BOOK REVIEW: Delicious Drinks, Impossible Ingredients

JAPANESE COCKTAILS: MIXED DRINKS WITH SAKE, SHOCHU, WHISKEY, AND MORE By Yuri Kato (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010, 96 pp., $14.95, hardcover) Despite the fact that Japanese people have an entire culture based on enkai (partying with drunken revelry), the traditional crowd of Japanese, no matter how free flowing the alcohol is, relies on a […]

BOOK REVIEW: The king of cartoon characters

IWAO TAKAMOTO: MY LIFE WITH A THOUSAND CHARACTERS By Iwao Takamoto with Michael Mallory (Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 2009, 240 pp., $22, paperback) Iwao Takamoto (1925-2007), the creator of such beloved characters as Scooby-Doo, Muttley, Atom Ant and Penelope Pittstop, has left us with a memoir much like his personality — witty, humorous […]

BOOK REVIEW: The culture of Issei Buddhism

ISSEI BUDDHISM IN THE AMERICAS Edited By Duncan Ryuken Williams and Tomoe Moriya (Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2010, 216 pp., $25, paperback) For academics and others interested in religious, Asian American, and/or Japanese American studies, editors Duncan Ryuken Williams and Tomoe Moriya have assembled a wide-ranging collection of articles on Buddhism in the […]

BOOK REVIEW: A world of frightening poignancy

Hotel Iris By Yoko Ogawa (New York: Picador, 2010, 176 pp., $14, paperback) “If Mother is so intent on paying me compliments, it might be because she doesn’t really love me very much. In fact, the more she tells me how pretty I am, the uglier I feel. To be honest, I have never once […]

BOOK REVIEW: TV personality’s take on food

Everyday Harumi By Harumi Kurihara. (Octopus Press, London, UK, 2009, 192 pp, $27.99, hardcover) This beautiful volume of famous television personality Harumi Kurihara is packed full of her classic and tweaks-on-classic recipes, all carefully crafted with the special Harumi characteristics, yet with careful consideration toward what is available in American grocery stores. From basics such […]

BOOK REVIEW: Cultural politics of Asian American movements

CHAINS OF BABYLON: THE RISE OF ASIAN AMERICA By Daryl J. Maeda  (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009, 248 pp., $20, paperback) Daryl J. Maeda’s slim book “Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America” is a compelling and quite refreshing examination of the history of Asian American movements in the Vietnam War era. To […]

BOOK REVIEW: Lone Star State Asians, a rich and varied history

ASIAN TEXANS: OUR HISTORIES AND OUR LIVES Edited By Irwin A. Tang (Austin, Texas: The It Works, 2008, 416 pp., $35, hardcover) Who would ever have thought that there were one million persons of Asian ancestry living in Texas? Or that they have had such a stunningly rich and varied history? Well, pardner, this is […]

MANGA REVIEW: Reboot: X-Men goes kawaii

X-MEN MISFITS By Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman Art by Anzu (New York: Del Rey, 2009, 192 pp., $12.99 paperback) “X-men Misfits” ironically describes itself by its title succinctly. The comic is a misfit in itself within the world of Marvel’s hit X-Men series. Through the frame of a shoujo-manga artist, this original English manga […]

MANGA REVIEW: Time to get schooled

ROSARIO + VAMPIRE: SEASON II VOL. 1 By Akihisa Ikeda  (San Francisco: Viz Media, 2010, 184 pp., $9.99 paperback) School is back in session. “Rosario + Vampire: Season II” is back for its second year. This continuation of the original series starts off with Tsukune Aono returning to Yokai Academy for his second year. All […]