Gil Asakawa

Gil Asakawa writes about pop culture and politics from a Asian American and Japanese American perspective on his blog, www.nikkeiview.com. He and his partner also co-founded www.visualizAsian.com, where they conduct live interviews with notable Asian American Pacific Islanders. He is the author of Being Japanese American (Stone Bridge Press, 2004) and served as the Pacific Citizen's editorial board chair for seven years as a JACL national board member.

Updated November 2009

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Nikkei View

The Legacy of the Sansei from a “Ni-hansei” perspective

When I was a kid, I used to tell people who asked what generation I was, that I was “Ni-hansei,” or second-and-a-half. That’s because although my father was a Nisei born in Hawaii (technically a Kibei because his family moved to Japan in 1940 and he was stuck there during the war, but that’s another essay), I was born in Japan.

My dad was in the US Army during the Korean war, and met my Issei mom in Hokkaido when he was stationed there. My two brothers and I were all born in Tokyo; I’m a prime ...

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NHK is Your Direct Line to Japanese News

The recent 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima went by quietly on American news (in part because there’s just so much news to cover exploding out of our own White House). So on August 6, I turned to the one place I knew would give the commemoration of the bombing its due coverage: NHK World, Japan’s English-language public television network.

NHK World didn’t disappoint. The network aired live the annual solemn ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park that included dignitaries Kazumi Matsui, the Mayor of Hiroshima, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The speeches were ...

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George Takei is the Energizer Bunny of the JA community

Like many people, and especially many Japanese Americans, I’m a big fan of George Takei. I’ve followed his career since I first saw him in the role of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu in the original 1960s television Star Trek series and as he reprised the character in subsequent Star Trek movies in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of fading into pop culture history after the Star Trek movies, he’s reinvented himself in both politics and pop culture, and today he’s hands-down the best-known and influential Asian American and an activist for human rights.

The Japanese American National ...

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Nikkei View

Read Who, How and Why Japanese Settled in Colorado

Most books about Japanese Americans focus on the West Coast because that’s where Japanese first arrived and settled on the US mainland.

So few well-known books tell the stories of Japanese as they crossed the country and decided to live in the mountains, or the midwest, or the northeast or the south. Yet I know of communities of JAs in New York (not surprising), Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Utah. I have JA family in Atlanta who speak with a sweet Southern drawl. I recently interviewed a JA woman in Nashville, Tennessee (who admitted the Japanese community there ...

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community en

Nikkei View

Trump Supporter Says Internment Is Precedent for Muslim Registration

The slope just got a little slippery.

Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL who’s the spokesman for the Great America PAC supporting Donald Trump, was recently interviewed on Fox News’ “Kelly File.” The president-elect’s transition team is discussing plans for a registry for Muslim immigrants, he said, and there were historical precedents for such a registry including the imprisonment of Japanese in “internment camps.”

“We’ve done it with Iran back a while ago,” Higbie said, and continued, “we did it during World War II with the Japanese.”

What?

To her credit, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly called ...

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