Suehiro Café receives grant from Preservation Program

LOS ANGELES — Suehiro Café, founded in 1972 in Little Tokyo, is one of 25 small restaurants nationwide that was awarded a special grant earlier this month as part of a collaborative effort of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express through their Backing Historic Small Restaurants program to help those businesses improve, […]

While COVID closes many Little Tokyo businesses, some are surviving

LOS ANGELES — Little Tokyo businesses faced many challenges the past year as COVID-19 forced a number of small establishments to close, but some shops like Mitsuru Sushi & Grill managed to survive, and a few like Bunkado even thrived. Mamoru Hanamure, owner of Mitsuru, revealed that he was stressed during the pandemic because of […]

U.S. warns against travel to Japan with Olympics just 2 months away

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department on May 24 advised its citizens not to visit Japan due to a surge in coronavirus cases, raising its travel alert to the highest level of 4 just two months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics. Although the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee played down concerns that the […]

Olympics cancellation likely to cost Japan $17 bil.

TOKYO — Cancelling the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer would cost Japan around 1.81 trillion yen ($17 billion), a research institute estimate showed May 25, as Japan scrambles to curb coronavirus infections with the major sporting event now just two months away. The Nomura Research Institute warns of even a bigger economic loss if […]

Asian American health workers fight virus and racist attacks

NEW YORK — Medical student Natty Jumreornvong has a vaccine and protective gear to shield her from the coronavirus. But she couldn’t avoid exposure to the anti-Asian bigotry that pulsed to the surface after the pathogen was first identified in China. Psychiatry patients have called her by a racist slur for the disease, she said. […]

Asian Americans wary about school amid virus, violence

BOSTON — A Chinese American mother in the Boston suburbs is sending her sons to in-person classes this month, even after one of them was taunted with a racist “slanted-eyes” gesture at school, just days after the killings of women of Asian descent at massage businesses in Atlanta. In the Dallas area, a Korean American […]

Senate OKs bill to fight hate crimes against Asian Americans

WASHINGTON — The Senate on April 22 overwhelmingly passed a bill that would help combat the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a bipartisan denunciation of such violence during the coronavirus pandemic and a modest step toward legislating in a chamber where most of President Joe Biden’s agenda has stalled. The […]

CONTINUING TRADITIONS: The evolution of koto artist Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto is literally in the middle of three generations of a family of koto teachers. Rising through the ranks over the years, she was awarded her Dai Shihan master’s degree from the Chikushi Kai Koto School in Fukuoka, Japan in 2000, and was inducted into the Hokka Nichibei Kai Bunka (Japanese Culture) Hall […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: On hopeful and precarious developments

Since the last year has been so terrible, I haven’t written a regular column in a while. Rather than complain about things, I decided to keep quiet. But we’ve had several positive and hopeful events, the first being the election of President Joe Biden and the very narrow victory of Democrats in Congress, which was […]

Victims of anti-Asian attacks reflect a year into pandemic

Nearly a year after they were almost stabbed to death inside a Midland, Texas, Sam’s Club, Bawi Cung and his two sons all have visible scars. It’s the unseen ones though that are harder to get over. Cung can’t walk through any store without constantly looking in all directions. His 6-year-old son, who now can’t […]

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