Naomi Hirahara

Hirahara is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes. Her new mystery series with a female hapa bicycle cop was launched in April 2014 with the publication of Murder on Bamboo Lane. The second in the series, Grave on Grand Avenue, is available now. She authored a 12-part serial for Discover Nikkei titled “The Nihongo Papers” and “Baishakunin, Inc.”

Updated June 2015

community en

Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 1

“I just don’t get it,” I say to my partner, Johnny Mayhew, in front of the Los Angeles Convention Center. We are both on our LAPD-issued bikes, watching a line of the most ridiculous cosplayers enter the hall. It’s like my childhood has come to haunt me. An Asian girl is dressed up as Lakitu, the bespectacled turtle who sits on clouds from the videogame Super Mario World. I see Ariel from the animated movie, The Little Mermaid, Star Wars stormtroopers, and at least five Sailor Moons. There’s even a Rilakkuma giant bear who has to be ...

Read more

food en

As You Like It

Chapter Twelve—Get Back in There

Six months later

In Japan, it was all about family and your family name. That’s why men were adopted into families that had no sons. So the family name could continue.

For the past six months, I’ve been thinking a lot about family—in general and about my specific one. But the Time Out New York reporter’s question still throws me off.

“So, Kaori, tell me about your family restaurant back in Hiroshima. It’s called Aka Okonomiyaki, right?”

The reporter has done his homework, in spite of him not knowing the Japanese language besides maguro and ...

Read more

food en

As You Like It

Chapter Eleven—Hiroshima World

We have only forty-eight hours to bring Hiroshima World to Manhattan. I take that back. Now forty-seven hours.

We’re turning our apartment—well, our apartment for the next forty-seven hours—into a most magical traveling adventure to our hometown, Hiroshima.

My best friend Risa has hand drawn the invitations and used her department’s photocopy machine to do some guerrilla printing. (Not that easy because she needed to steal the code.) She’s taken photos of the invitation with her phone and posted it all over social media.

If she’s doing all of that, what am I doing ...

Read more

food en

As You Like It

Chapter Ten—Kappa Power

I saw my first homeless person in Japan when I was visiting Tokyo. Actually there were a whole group of them on the lower level of a train station. It was winter and snow was on the ground outside.

Hiroshima, though, not so much.

I am, however, on my way to be the first homeless Hiroshima person outside the country. And my best friend and present roommate, Risa, is going to be the second.

I’ve had a place to live in Manhattan due to Risa’s kindness, or should I say the generosity of her European benefactor, Frederick. That ...

Read more

food en

As You Like It

Chapter Nine—Clipped

In Japanese folktales, old women are sometimes cast as the “bad guys.” You see it in “Tongue-Cut Sparrow,” in which an elderly lady clips the tongue of a sparrow who snacks on some rice starch for clothes hanging to dry outside. This mean, greedy woman then pushes her way into the Sparrow World and is offered two gifts—one heavy and the other small. Of course, she selects the big one and is terrorized by some demons who are hidden inside.

Well, in my life, I am terrorized by a demon. One named Norio and he’s not an old ...

Read more