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

media en

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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migration en

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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identity en

Nikkei View

Japanese Cleaning

Here’s all the dirt on my feelings about cleaning.

I don’t have the joy of cleaning.

Maybe it’s because I’m male. Maybe it’s because my family came to the US when I was only 8 years old. Maybe it’s because I’m just a rebellious dude.

I hate cleaning. Not myself or my body, mind you—I like to be personally clean (except for my language). I take showers every day and dislike outdoorsy activities like camping because it means I can’t take a shower until I get home.

I mean cleaning house ...

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community en

Nikkei View

Funerals in the Japanese American community

It’s a hackneyed cliché to say “death is part of life,” but like many clichés, just because it’s become trite doesn’t mean the phrase isn’t true. Especially for Buddhists, death is a natural part of the cycle of living in this world.

Death didn’t touch me much when I was young—I didn’t attend my first Japanese community funeral until my father died in 1992 and I was in my 30s, and my mother arranged for a Buddhist service. Since then, I’ve attended lots of funerals in Denver’s Japanese community, both ...

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