Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program celebrates 40th anniversary

The Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program of Rosa Parks Elementary School celebrated its 40th anniversary on March 9 at The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, with a silent auction, dinner and performances. According to parent volunteer Jade Corkish, about 315 people attended the event. “Today is honoring those people who really […]

Local dialect showing signs of comeback in Okinawa

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) — At the Naha city office, officials have taken up a new mission since April. In place of the standard Japanese greeting of “konnichiwa” for “good day,” the Okinawan language equivalent of “haisai” reverberates through the halls. “Arigato” for “thank you” has also been replaced by “nihedebiru” in exchanges, for instance, between […]

Kinmon Gakuen celebrates 100 years of Japanese language instruction

Kinmon Gakuen, also known as the Golden Gate Institute, celebrated 100 years of Japanese language and culture education recently in San Francisco’s Japantown. In a gathering of former students, teachers and administrators on Oct. 29, community members also helped to celebrate the historic milestone at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. “We are dedicated […]

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 […]


富 (Fu or Tomi) means “richnes.” This character comes from a shape of a warehouse which is full of crops or treasures inside. 士 (Ji or Shi)            means “samurai” who guards the King or lord.  This character comes from a shape of a weapon which can protect the king or lord. 山 (San or Yama) […]

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 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 […]

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 […]