Nobuko Miyamoto’s riveting stories — on and off the stage

NOT YO’ BUTTERFLY: MY LONG SONG OF RELOCATION, RACE, LOVE AND REVOLUTION By Nobuko Miyamoto (Oakland, Calif.: University of California Press, 2021, 344 pp., $29.95, paperback) Playful, provocative, never boring — that sums up Nobuko Miyamoto and her memoir, “Not Yo’ Butterfly.” From a young age, Miyamoto showed promise as a dancer, winning a scholarship […]

Mazie Hirono’s journey from underdog to advocate for underserved populations

HEART OF FIRE: AN IMMIGRANT DAUGHTER’S STORY By Mazie K. Hirono (New York: Viking Books, 2021, 416 pp., $28, hardcover) Sen. Mazie K. Hirono is a badass.  Hirono vaulted to national consciousness when she became an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, which she deemed a threat to democracy. She challenged such policies as family separation of asylum-seeking immigrants, the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, among […]

‘Finding wellness in one’s roots’

Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit By Candice Kumai (New York: Harper Wave, 2018, 336 pp., $29.99 hardcover) Candice Kumai is a well known wellness writer, chef, and content creator who has written a book that is a mixture of memoir, self-help and cookbook. Her recognized contributions to national wellness […]

Fathoming the ‘lessons and limits of history’

LETTERS TO MEMORY By Karen Tei Yamashita (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2017, 200 pp., $19.95, paperback) In his insightful Sept. 13, 2017 Christian Science Monitor review of Karen Tei Yamashita’s “Letters to Memory,” Terry Hong concluded with this appraisal: “Allusive, quirky, questioning, ‘Letters’ is a challenging text . . . dense with assumptions of cultural […]

A Nisei’s path to pacifism

MY LIFE’S JOURNEY By Ted T. Tsukiyama (Honolulu, Watermark Publishing, 2017, 160 pp., $17.95, paperback) Ted Tsukiyama is a charter member of the Nisei, “the Greatest Generation.” Born in Hawai‘i in 1920, the son of shopkeepers, he was a student at the University of Hawai‘i when he was mobilized into the Hawaii Territorial Guard on […]

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