Edward Moreno

At 94, Ed Moreno has accumulated nearly seventy years of service in media- broadcast, newsprint, and magazines. Ed has received a number of accolades for his work, as writer, editor and translator. His torrid love affair with Japanese culture began in 1951 and it seems it will never cool off. He is currently writing a column on Japanese-Nikkei cultural and historical topics for the “Newsette,” the monthly organ of the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center, in West Covina, CA. Before its demise, The East magazine (Tokyo) published some of his original works.  He also writes for “Transactions, the Journal of the prestigious Asiatic Society of Japan”

Updated May 2015

sports en

The Founders III: The Old Man and the Entire Ocean

Have you ever read Ernest Hemingway’s famous novella: “The Old Man and the Sea”? It is a tale of stamina and survival in which Santiago, an old, unlucky Cuban fisherman attempts his last catch in the Gulf of Mexico. He lands a gigantic marlin, but despite all efforts, what he brings home is only the skeleton. A pack of sharks that nearly did him in too, ate his gorgeous catch.

Had Hemingway met Beans Sogioka in January 2006, when Beans was already 86, he might have developed the story differently.

On January 6, to be exact, Beans landed six ...

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culture en

MINGEI: Now and Then - Part 2

>> Read part 1

As if the study of Yanagi’s life and theories hadn’t been sufficient, Tatsuo found a formidable mentor within his own family. His uncle Yoshio Sato—his mother’s brother in Sendai—led him intellectually to appreciate Japanese folk crafts and lore. Uncle Yoshio had done a number of guide shows for NHK, and kept extensive journals on local plants, customs, Tohoku linguistics and other anthropological data. “He was a true amateur anthropologist,” Tats said, totally ignoring that many professional anthropologists often excel in amateurishness.

After school graduation, Tatsuo and his wife moved to Mashiko in ...

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culture en

MINGEI: Now and Then - Part 1

Meet Tatsuo Tomeoka, whose website (http://mingei-wasabidou.com/), is most attractive for those interested in the Arts of the People. Tatsuo is a young Nisei born from immigrant Japanese parents in Seattle, in 1961…far away from the time when being of Japanese descent was a capital sin in our country.

Without the internment experience in my background, he says, I was never sure if I was a ‘Japanese-American;’ an ‘American of Japanese descent’ or just ‘Japanese’ or ‘American.’

Tats grew up in Seattle, but spent quite a number of summers in Japan, at times training in kendo and wrestling ...

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migration en

Gambare!

Together with the concepts of honor, duty, and self-respect, Gambare—also ganbare—ranks among the top values which characterize the Japanese culture; and you get all kinds of opinions as to whether it means an extraordinary power of determination and endurance, or simple mulishness. Whatever it is, it has proven invaluable in the history of Japanese and Japanese American accomplishment, everywhere. Take the case of Joseph Heco (Hikozo Hamada,) which, to me, appears as one of the finest examples of Ganbare!

Born in Harima, in 1837, during the declining Tokugawa shogunate, he became a student at a temple school, though ...

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community en

Tango no Sekku - Part 2

>> Part 1

Unlike the elegant, orderly, and colorful setting for Hina Matsuri, the exhibit for Tango No Sekku is an artistic disaster. The arrangement has usually three levels instead of the girls’ seven to nine steps, and it is loosely set on a green carpet or a grass mat. Okay, one can call it a free form, liberal or minimalist tableaux. A heavily decorated kabuto, or the old military helmet, and a set of armor surrounded by arrows, lances and other weapons head the display. Instead of the kabuto, some people show a jingasa, or the simpler military headgear. But ...

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