A lesson in embracing one’s identity

The Favorite Daughter Written and illustrated by Allen Say (New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013, $17.99, 32 pp., hardcover) I love Allen Say. This book, with its watercolor illustrations, has a gentle quality that makes me want to sit right down in a quiet corner to savor it. In Say’s latest book, “The Favorite […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: How to be Asian American

I have been seeing a young black writer, Baratunde Thurston, on TV who is promoting a book that he has written called, “How To Be Black.” I have not read it yet, but I plan to, since the concept is, first, sort of funny (ha ha!) in that there’s some kind of “way” of being […]

Panel explores ‘inadequate’ state of multiculturalism in Japan

For centuries, the Japanese government promoted ethnic homogeneity. The Tokugawa Shogunate prohibited foreigners from entering the country for some 200 years, and barriers to immigration remained high even after the isolationist policy ended in 1854. In recent decades, a lagging economy and aging population have compelled Japan’s leaders to reconsider traditional attitudes toward foreign residents. […]

‘Distillations’ exhibit captures Japanese American identity

“Distillation: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience” opened last week at John F. Kennedy University’s Arts & Consciousness Gallery in Berkeley. It offers a unique portrayal of Japanese American identity through the lens of Sansei, or third-generation Japanese Americans. With more than 70 works of art, the four artists — Reiko Fujii, Lucien Kubo, Shizue […]

Identity & Art San Francisco-Based Artist Finds Direction After Connecting with His Japanese Heritage

Akira Beard, a 34-year-old San Francisco-based artist, is currently showing 18 works in “New Territory,” an exhibit at White Walls gallery in the city’s Tenderloin District. Beard, who lives nearby the gallery, is a painter and instructor whose works aim to spur dialog on social issues. Using portraits of celebrities and historical figures, the paintings […]

Nikkei Reflect on ‘What it Means to be a Japanese American Woman’

When community members at this year’s Mountain View Obon Bazaar and Festival were asked to explain what it means to be Japanese American, the responses were as diverse as the community itself. To some, their Nikkei experience and identity is formed by the injustices of wartime incarceration that tens of thousands of persons of Japanese […]