Stuff contributed by wasabipress

Albert Saijo: Karmic Heart

Patricia Wakida

When the phone rang unexpectedly early one morning in 2009, I couldn’t believe it, but it was Albert Saijo on the line, calling me from the rainforests of Hawai‘i. It seemed serendipitious. His book, Outspeaks: A Rhapsody, not only lay on the kitchen table, but I had engaged ...

Gompers Saijo (1922-2003) - A Life Long Artist: from Art Students League Heart Mountain to the Shadow of Mt. Tamalpais

Patricia Wakida

It is no great surprise that Eric Saijo’s home is surrounded by a profusion of California native plants—ceanothus, manzanita, redbud—and the interior is richly punctuated with bronze bells and whimsical sculptures of turtles and owls.

Language and Silence—The Poetry of Asano Miyata Saijo (1891-1966)

Patricia Wakida

In July 1932, on the occasion of the Los Angeles Olympic Games, The Kashu Mainichi ran an article welcoming the Japanese athletes, written by an unlikely writer who called herself an “obasan farmer living in southern California.” The author was a remarkable Issei whose progressive, feminist perspective graced the pages ...

The Ultimate Good: Grace Pastries

Patricia Wakida

“Weddings are the most superstitious of holidays. And the cake? Well it’s like any marriage, right? I won’t say the cake is human, but the cake is something special.”


Patricia Wakida

Before the advent of the offset printing process, The Rafu Shimpo handset every word, every comma, every dingbat and ornamental header, utilizing drawers of lead type. In the case of the Rafu, the metal kanji used to compose each page must have been imported from Japan and cost a fortune ...

Readings of Identity: Asian American Portraits of Encounter

Patricia Wakida

Renowned portrait artist Steve Pyke has said that he is interested in the story each face has to tell, the story that is etched into the landscape of our faces. In 2011 the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC debuted its first Asian American exhibition, Portraiture Now: Asian American ...

An Interview with Lament in the Night translator Andrew Leong

Patricia Wakida

Last week, Patricia Wakida wrote a profile on translator Andrew Leong on his upcoming book, Lament in the Night, a collection of two novellas by previously forgotten Issei writer, Nagahara Shoson. She also had an opportunity to join Kaya Press staff to interview Andrew about the project. Here is an ...

Lament in the Night, translated by Andrew Leong

Patricia Wakida

The Tale of Osato is an astonishing fable of pre-war Los Angeles, whose protagonist is a determined young Issei who works herself to the point of collapse every night in a Little Tokyo restaurant to support herself and her infant son. In a particularly harrowing passage, Osato places her son ...

And the Soul Shall Dance

Patricia Wakida

About a year ago, my mother called to tell me that my grandmother had stopped eating. It was expected that she would deteriorate rapidly in the coming weeks, maybe days. Come home, she said, it was time to say goodbye.

Akira Horiuchi: A Reluctant Hero's Journey to the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony - Part 2

Patricia Wakida

Read Part 1 >>

Akira Horiuchi was born and raised in Southern California. In the pre-war years, his father ran a small fruit stand on the Westside of town, and then picked up work as a truck driver hauling vegetables from farmers to the produce market on 9th street.

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Patricia Wakida is a yonsei writer, artist and cultural worker. She was born the year of the dog in San Diego, California and raised between Honolulu, Hawaii and Fresno, California. Patricia has worked as an apprentice papermaker in Gifu, Japan and as an apprentice letterpress printer and hand bookbinder in California; she maintains her own linoleum block and letterpress business under the Wasabi Press imprint.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns


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