ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: How far have we come? ‘Hawaii Five-O’ 40 years later

Any TV producer who wants to court Asian Pacific American viewership benefits from having a very low bar to hurdle. If an Asian character pops up in a sitcom and the proceeding 26 minutes aren’t full of lazy racism, it’s generally considered a small triumph. If you have a show with several Asian Pacific Islander […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Selfish Desires

ji ko yoku 自(ji) means “own.” This character comes from the shape of a person’s nose.  己 (ko or onore) means “self.” This character represents a person who is bending down. 欲 (yoku) means “desire” and consists of two parts; the left side is the shape of a valley and the right side is a […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The Gochiso Gourmet’s reluctant gift guide

I’ve lost some of that feel-good anticipation and Christmas cheer that I used to experience as a child. While I haven’t converted completely to the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge, I’m not exactly the Ghost of Christmas Present come December. Perhaps part of this stems from the commercialization (or over commercialization) of Christmas. Maybe it’s seeing […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: For Maui Auntie ‘K’ and Uncle Ogi

About a month ago, my fishing mentor on Maui passed away. Uncle Ogi taught me the simple lessons of tying a fishing line, where to cast your bait in the surf, and what speed to reel the line. In fact, he even provided me with his own fishing lead, which he would produce after retrieving […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Spiritual Investment

心の出資  (Kokoro no Shushi) means “spiritual investment.” Kokoro (心) means “heart,” and its character is in the shape of a human heart. Shu or deru (出) means “go out or come out,” and its character is in the shape of a human foot. Shi (資) means “funds,” and its character consists of two parts; the […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Four worms in our heart

四 (yon or shi) means the number four in English, which comes from the shape of four fingers. 心 (Kokoro) means heart, which comes from the shape of a human heart. 虫 (Mushi) means worm, which comes from the shape of a worm. A few years ago, my family went to pick fruits in Brentwood, Calif. We picked […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Cooking with sour wine

No, this is not the wine in Mylar bags sold in cardboard boxes. That wine was meant to taste that way. This is the product that comes from wine (or vin in French) that has naturally soured (aigre, again in French) to make vin-aigre — that is, vinegar. It can happen naturally in wine that […]


The kanji character 用 (yo) means “to be able, useful” and consists of two parts. A vertical center line represents a nail. All other lines represent pieces of wood. The pieces of wood were put together by the nail. 意(i) means “thinking in your heart,” which consists of two parts. Above is a person’s voice and below […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Nikkei Women Honored by Japanese American Women Alumnae

It isn’t every organization that has a connection to a powerful and influential member in Congress, but the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley (JAWAUCB), a club of the California Alumni Association, has just such a connection. Doris Matsui, representative for the 5th District in California, was honored as Outstanding Alumna of the Year […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: The Patient Heart of a Ninja

The kanji character 忍 (nin or shinobu) means “patience.” This character is made of two parts. The top is  刃 (yaiba), which means “sword or knife.” The bottom is 心 (kokoro), which means “spiritual or physical heart.” Nin is when someone attacks you with a sword and almost kills you by missing your heart, but you remain patient […]