Noriko Eileen Kurahashi

Eileen Kurahashi lives in Northern California with her family. She is active in Sogetsu ikebana, the Mills College choir, and is studying French.

Updated September 2014

culture en

It Can Happen Here! The Fred Korematsu Story

WHAT PROTECTIONS DO WE HAVE as American citizens when our country is under attack? Do we sacrifice constitutional protections for the perceived need for security? Fred Korematsu Speaks Up—an illustrated book written for young readers—raises these issues in the story of a young Japanese American citizen who is incarcerated when the country of his parents’ origin, Japan, and the country of his birth, the United States, go to war.

Infamously, on December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, drawing the Americans into World War II. Public opinion, fueled partly by ...

Read more

identity en

Nikkei Chronicles #3 — Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

What’s in a Name?

By placing my Japanese given name first on my birth certificate, you know my parents were Issei. Technically, my mother was Nisei, but she was schooled in Japan for many years, making her closer to the original culture than most Nisei.

My father died when I was young, but I remember he explained to me that he chose my name carefully and that the kanji (Chinese character) for “Nori” meant “wise teacher.” I know it is an old tradition in Chinese and Japanese culture to select the name based on a parent’s desire and prediction for the future of ...

Read more

media en

Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Masakazu Yoshizawa: Music Master and Magician

As a respected composer, arranger and master of shakuhachi, other Japanese flutes, taiko, clarinet and piano, Masakazu Yoshizawa demonstrates how excellence can be achieved through an obsession with technique and structure. When he was first introduced to music, he remembers tediously hand-copying musical scores over and over again to understand the underlying structures and rhythms.

In his elementary school, every student was required to choose an instrument, and Yoshizawa first dedicated himself to the accordion—and then revealed his uncanny musical gifts by quickly learning the intricacies of the piano, trumpet and clarinet.

Yoshizawa came to America with little idea ...

Read more