BORDER TOWN STORIES: Exploring Okinawa’s multicultural mishmash

A previous recipient of a Fulbright grant to Japan, author Akemi Johnson has written for outlets such as The Nation and National Public Radio, and contributed an essay to volume 2 of “Hapa Japan.” She spoke with Nichi Bei Weekly about her forthcoming book, “Night in the American Village: Women in the Shadows of the […]

Dance master promotes Okinawan culture in the Bay Area

Noriyoshi Arakaki has been going back to his birthplace of Okinawa almost every year for the last 32 years since he moved to Hayward, Calif., where he owns a gardening business. This time, his visit had a special meaning. “I saw a banner in the National Theater Okinawa in Naha” — Okinawa’s capital — “that […]

Aloha and the Ancestors: Goodbye, welcome back, we love you

The topic of traditions to honor our ancestors brings me back to my “small kid days” as a Sansei Okinawan growing up on the island of Kaua‘i in Hawai‘i. On Sundays I was taught at the Christian church that sinners would go to hell. Sin included both murder and worshipping “graven images.” After church, my […]

Hatoyama unveils base move within Okinawa, offers apology

NAHA, Japan — Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on May 23 unveiled for the first time his government’s plan to relocate a U.S. Marine base within Okinawa and apologized for his failure to make good on his earlier vow to move the military facility outside the prefecture. “We came to the conclusion that we have to […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Bitter Melon: Is This Edible?

Many moons ago, I felt the same way. In fact, I’ve only acquired a taste for it in the past several months. After that first taste many years ago, with that bracing bitterness that lingered on the palate, I kept my distance. It didn’t help that it looked like a cucumber or squash with a […]

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