ELUSIVE DREAMS: Proud hapa finds marrow match but loses cancer battle

After enduring a year’s worth of treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Paul Ota decided to fly home to the Bay Area to pick up his universal passport. A universal passport is a document that symbolizes a person’s goal to travel the world. He had been on the waitlist for one since before he was diagnosed with […]

WALKING THE MIDDLE PATH: USC professor engages hapa identity via Buddhism

If there’s one person besides, perhaps, Naomi Osaka, who has reinvigorated the subject of mixed race in the Japanese diaspora, it’s Duncan Ryūken Williams. Born and raised in Tokyo by his Japanese mother and British father, Williams came to the United States to attend Reed College for his undergraduate work before going on to earn […]

Multiracial athletes of Japanese descent and their ascent

March 21, 2019, Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. In the bottom of the eighth, Ichiro Suzuki trotted off the baseball diamond for the last time, waving to an unusually emotional Japanese crowd. Soon after, fellow Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. remarked that, during his career, Ichiro was able to “cross barriers.” When […]

Naomi Osaka stayed above the fray to claim first Grand Slam title

NEW YORK  — As Serena Williams’ U.S. Open final crumbled around her on Sept. 8, Japan’s Naomi Osaka said she had to stay above the fray in order to keep her historic run to Grand Slam history alive. With code violations, broken rackets, tears and accusations of cheating coming from Williams’ end of the court, Osaka […]

Mixed-race JA woman documents first trip to Japan

Diary of a Tokyo Teen: A Japanese-American Girl Travels to the Land of Trendy Fashion, High-Tech Toilets and Maid Cafes Written and illustrated by Christine Mari Inzer (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, $14.99, paperback) For people with immigrant ancestry, the experience of returning to one’s motherland is all too familiar. While its exciting to reunite […]

Playing hostess to a foreign culture

TURNING JAPANESE: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR Written and illustrated by MariNaomi  (Minneapolis, Minn.: 2dcloud, 2016, 228 pp., $24.95, hard cover) MariNaomi shares her own journey of self-discovery of her ethnic roots in “Turning Japanese.” Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she illustrates her time spent as a hostess in a restaurant and bar in San […]

Raising hope and awareness for mixed-race bone marrow matches

As a multiracial American (Japanese-Okinawan, Mexican, and German), I’ve always thought of my mixed-ness as a unique part of my identity. Recently though, I’ve learned that this attribute is a possible health concern if I were ever to be diagnosed with a blood or bone disease. More than 50,000 multiracial patients a year search for […]

Mixed-heritage Japanese Americans seek bone marrow matches

Last January, Paul Ota felt a pain in his chest. Maybe, he thought, he had pulled a muscle at the gym. Upon visiting his doctor, though, Ota was diagnosed with advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that can start in a person’s lymph nodes. After six rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to destroy the […]

Cancer survivor celebrates ‘new found freedom’

Earlier this month, 10-year-old Baylor Nihei Fredrickson’s family received some long-anticipated news: the cancer survivor learned that he could discontinue taking his medications and no longer had to follow numerous multiple safety precautions that had been part of his life since he returned home from a transplant more than a year and a half ago. Back in […]

Scholars showcase future of diverse Nikkei community

PAN-JAPAN: The International Journal of the Japanese Diaspora: Special Issue: CONJECTURING COMMUNITIES: Ebbs and Flows of Japanese America Edited by Lane Ryo Hirabayashi (Normal, Ill.: Illinois State University, 2016, $12.50; Spring/Fall 2016: Volume 12, Numbers 1 & 2, 189 pp., paperback). To purchase, write to: PAN-JAPAN (Vol. 12, No. 1 & 2), Subscriptions, Anthropology 4640, […]

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