Nikkei View

This series presents selections from Gil Asakawa’s “Nikkei View: The Asian American Blog,” which presents a Japanese American perspective on pop culture, media, and politics.

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community en

On writing about the JA community

I started my writing career as a music critic and became a journalist with jobs at various mainstream media newspapers and later, websites, and wasn’t much concerned with covering the Japanese, Japanese American, or Asian American Pacific Islander communities or issues.

I became curious about my roots when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in the early ‘90s, but it wasn’t until a few years later before I started writing about being Japanese American. I met my wife, who is Sansei, in the late ‘90s and one of the first things she said to me was that ...

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war en

The Legacy of the Sansei from a “Ni-hansei” perspective

When I was a kid, I used to tell people who asked what generation I was, that I was “Ni-hansei,” or second-and-a-half. That’s because although my father was a Nisei born in Hawaii (technically a Kibei because his family moved to Japan in 1940 and he was stuck there during the war, but that’s another essay), I was born in Japan.

My dad was in the US Army during the Korean war, and met my Issei mom in Hokkaido when he was stationed there. My two brothers and I were all born in Tokyo; I’m a prime ...

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migration en

Read Who, How and Why Japanese Settled in Colorado

Most books about Japanese Americans focus on the West Coast because that’s where Japanese first arrived and settled on the US mainland.

So few well-known books tell the stories of Japanese as they crossed the country and decided to live in the mountains, or the midwest, or the northeast or the south. Yet I know of communities of JAs in New York (not surprising), Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Utah. I have JA family in Atlanta who speak with a sweet Southern drawl. I recently interviewed a JA woman in Nashville, Tennessee (who admitted the Japanese community there ...

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community en

Trump Supporter Says Internment Is Precedent for Muslim Registration

The slope just got a little slippery.

Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL who’s the spokesman for the Great America PAC supporting Donald Trump, was recently interviewed on Fox News’ “Kelly File.” The president-elect’s transition team is discussing plans for a registry for Muslim immigrants, he said, and there were historical precedents for such a registry including the imprisonment of Japanese in “internment camps.”

“We’ve done it with Iran back a while ago,” Higbie said, and continued, “we did it during World War II with the Japanese.”

What?

To her credit, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly called ...

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identity en

Japanese Cleaning

Here’s all the dirt on my feelings about cleaning.

I don’t have the joy of cleaning.

Maybe it’s because I’m male. Maybe it’s because my family came to the US when I was only 8 years old. Maybe it’s because I’m just a rebellious dude.

I hate cleaning. Not myself or my body, mind you—I like to be personally clean (except for my language). I take showers every day and dislike outdoorsy activities like camping because it means I can’t take a shower until I get home.

I mean cleaning house ...

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