Gary T. Ono

Gary T. Ono, is a Sansei transplant from San Francisco, California who now resides in the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles. He is a volunteer photographer for the nearby Japanese American National Museum. In 2001, he was awarded a California Civil Liberties Public Education Program grant to produce a video documentary, Calling Tokyo: Japanese American Radio Broadcasters of World War II. This story about what his father did during the war sparked his interest in his Japanese American and family history, which richly fills his senior moments.

Updated May 2013

culture en

ShastaYama 2007 - A Magical Experience

ShastaYama (literally, Shasta mountain) is the name of the annual taiko festival held in the beautiful pine-forested town of Mount Shasta nestled at the base of the majestic Mt. Shasta. Mt. Shasta, at 14,162 feet, is often compared to Mt. Fuji for its similar spiritual beauty and size. Mt. Shasta offers different appearances throughout the day with the changes of time of day and weather conditions. Of course the season makes a difference to its appearance as well.

ShastaYama is an outdoor summer evening concert created by Russel Hisashi Baba and Jeanne Aiko Mercer who founded the Shasta Taiko ...

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food en

Japanese American Fortune Cookie: A Taste of Fame or Fortune - Part 2

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Japantown Family and Personal Recollections

By now, my childhood flashback images of my grandfather’s semi-automatic sembei machine are stroboscopic visual pulsations. I drew pictures of what I saw in my mind’s eye. My Auntie Sue agreed with my memory sketches of the sembei machine and fondly recounted working alongside her father-in-law on occasion in a two-man operation sitting beside the huge carousel-like baking machine.

As a youngster, I remember being fascinated by how the machine worked. Automatically, batter would pour into the emptied griddle before it closed and continued around the curve into the baking ...

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food en

Japanese American Fortune Cookie: A Taste of Fame or Fortune - Part 1

The fortune cookie, the famous and fun gratuitous dessert, is unfailingly gifted following delicious meals in all Chinese restaurants throughout the world. So this uniquely sculpted cookie with a personal message tucked inside just for you must be Chinese, right? The Chinese must surely have invented and own the fame and fortune associated with it.

Early on I did not question this widely accepted assumption, even though my late 1940 through 1950 childhood memories included watching such fortune cookies being produced in my grandfather’s Japanese confectionary shop in San Francisco’s Japantown. I remember them being made with a ...

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