Minoru Kanda

Currently resides in Nara prefecture. His great-grandfather was an Issei who migrated to Hawaii in 1900. His grandmother was Nisei. Graduated from the Department of Sociology at Doshisha University. Studied Asian American Literature and Culture under Prof. You Nakayama (Kyoto Seika University). Acquired interest in Asian American popular music. Volunteers at Asian Improv aRts/Records (San Francisco & Chicago) as a Japanese communication coordinator. Member of the Asian American Literature Research Group and Migration Research Group.

Updtaed January 2010

media en

Folk Songs Left by the 1970’s Asian American Movement - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>

About Some Songs

1. TANFORAN (Is anybody there?)
(Horikoshi and Takimoto)

This song begins with the sound of knocking at the former Tanforan Assembly Center, and narration. Although the center served as a temporary holding facility in San Bruno in the outskirts of San Francisco, it is now disappearing from people’s memories. TANFORAN was a standard song always played in YOKOHAMA, CALIFORNIA’s live performances. Even prior to the commencement of the redress movement, the song uses the word “home” to clearly express what the temporary holding facility was. The song says even after the facility ...

Read more

media en

Folk Songs Left by the 1970’s Asian American Movement - Part 1

Background and Issue Awareness:

YOKOHAMA, CALIFORNIA is the title of an LP record released by Asian American musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose. Strongly influenced by A Grain of Sand (1973) by Chris Iijima, Nobuko Miyamoto, and Charlie Chin, the music was created in the midst of the Asian American movement. The front jacket photograph, taken in J-Town, San Jose, depicts the atmosphere of those days, with not only the band members but also P.J. Hirabayashi (San Jose Taiko) in the photo.

Originally, the trio of Peter Horikoshi, Sam Takimoto, and Michael Okagaki began working ...

Read more

media en ja

Review: Textured Lives: Stories from the Plantations of Hawai‘i (DVD)

Last August (2010), during the Obon holiday, it was in the sweltering heat of Tokyo that I saw this documentary film for the very first time. My friend, Shin Miyata (representing Music Camp), organized the screening and invited the film’s producer/director, Akira Boch, from Los Angeles for the event. After a modest introduction by Mr. Boch, the film began with an image of Japanese workers on a sugarcane plantation, coupled with a voiceover by Barbara Kawakami, who is the main character of this story. The film was off to a promising start.

However, in the very next scene ...

Read more

media ja

レビュー:BIG DRUM - Taiko in the United States (2005)

去年の12月、San Jose Taikoの主要メンバーと京都で会う機会があった。予想通り、とても魅力的な人たちであった。この魅力はどこから来るのか。単なる個人の性格の問題ではない。その魅力は、彼らが、Taikoという楽器の演奏者(Player)であると同時に、Taikoを集団で演奏することにより、自分たち自身のリズムを作り出し、自分たちが楽しみ、そして聴衆をも楽しませる術(すべ)を知っていることから来る魅力なのかもしれない。Taikoを含む打楽器のビートには、人種や民族や世代を越えて、私たちの気持ちを高揚させるなにかがある。

この映画は、米国におけるTaiko音楽を歴史的、文化的視野から記録した秀作である ...

Read more

media ja

映画評  『アメリカンパスタイム 俺たちの星条旗』 デズモンド・ナカノ監督作品 2007

単館ながら東京でも上映された作品だが、未見の方もおられると思うので、粗筋から紹介したい。ネタバレの部分もあるかもしれないけれどもご容赦下さい。

ロサンゼルス生まれのライル・ノムラは1世の両親を持つ日系2世。一家ではじめて奨学金を得、サンフランシスコ州立大学へ進学する筈だった。しかし 1941年12月7日を境に、彼の、そして家族の運命はすっかり変わってしまう。他の12万人の日系アメリカ人と同じく、ノムラ一家も告知後10日間で家 や仕事、殆どの財産を手放し、ユタ州のド田舎にあるトパーズ収容所へやってきた。砂埃と塵にまみれた、砂漠の中のバラック小屋生活が始まる。

フェンスに囲まれ常に監視される生活。白人の看守や兵士は聞こえよがしに日本や日本人の悪口を言う。アメリカで生まれ育った日系人の方が多いという のに。中村雅俊演じるライルの父親、カズ ...

Read more