The Rafu Shimpo

The Rafu Shimpo is the premier newspaper of the Japanese American community. Since 1903, it has provided bilingual coverage and analysis of Nikkei news in Los Angeles and beyond. Visit the Rafu Shimpo website to read articles and to explore subscription options for print and online news.

Updated September 2015

culture en

Playwright Wakako Yamauchi, Remembered for And The Soul Shall Dance

Wakako Yamauchi, a renowned Nisei writer best known for her play And the Soul Shall Dance, passed away on Aug. 16 at her home in Gardena, CA. She was 93.

She is remembered for depicting the struggles of Japanese immigrants and their children during the Great Depression and World War II, which she personally experienced.

Yamauchi, who was also a short-story writer, a poet, and a painter, published two books, Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays, and Memoir” (1994) and Rosebud and Other Stories (2011).

She was born Wakako Nakamura on Oct. 24, 1924, in Westmorland to Issei parents ...

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media en

Mifune Gets Posthumous Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Nearly 20 years after his passing, Japanese screen legend Toshiro Mifune has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

An unveiling ceremony for the 2,594th star was held Monday [November 14, 2016] at 6912 Hollywood Blvd. with about 125 VIPs and fans in attendance.

Flanked by two men wearing samurai armor, Vin Di Bona of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said, “Today we’re honoring a man who achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of this century, a man who left us with a treasure trove of iconic roles.”

Giving a brief biography of ...

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community en

Philanthropist Tomoye Takahashi Dies at 100

Tomoye “Tami” Takahashi, co-founder and owner of the Takahashi Trading Company, passed away peacefully on June 4, just short of turning 101 years old.

Tomoye was known by many as a walking encyclopedia and had a wealth of knowledge and stories about the history and people of the Japantown community going back to its founding in 1906, following the Great San Francisco Earthquake. This year marks the 110th anniversary celebration of Japantown in the Western Addition.

Born on August 16, 1915, in San Francisco, she was the eldest daughter of Tomoyuki Nozawa and Masano Ozawa, both of whom immigrated from ...

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sports en

Olympic Medalist Tommy Kono Dies at 85

Tommy Tamio Kono, who won three Olympic medals in weightlifting and became head coach of the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team, died on April 24, 2016, in Honolulu, according to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He was 85.

According to KHON2, a family member said Kono passed away at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon from complications of liver cirrhosis.

His family said in a statement, “The family would like to thank all of his friends and especially the lifters at the Nuuanu YMCA. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.”

Kono’s Olympic gold medals were in the lightweight ...

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community en

Buena Vista: Haven in the Desert Exhibit Covers 118 Years of Alameda History

At Buena Vista United Methodist Church’s annual Spring Bazaar, as you follow the delicious aroma of chicken teriyaki on the barbecue, be sure to find a special place to reflect on a century of Alameda history—Buena Vista: Haven in the Desert for 118 Years, a historical exhibit tucked away in the sanctuary area.

As you enter, you will hear the wistful notes of the koto. Stop and look at photos of Japanese men in stiff suits standing with missionary women, taken a century ago. Have your name written in katakana or kanji. You will be tracing the steps ...

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