Nichi Bei Weekly

The Nichi Bei Weekly, published by the Nichi Bei Foundation, rose out of the ashes of the historic legacy of the Nichi Bei Shimbun (1899-1942) and Nichi Bei Times (1946-2009) as the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country. It has been published in San Francisco’s Japantown since September of 2009.

Updated April 2018

war en

Nisei is propelled to share firsthand accounts of camp

In 2019, Paramount released the biopic feature film on British rock singer Elton John entitled Rocketman. Sam Mihara’s slender and well-written autobiographical book, Blindsided, also showcases the life of a rocket man. It, too, could have been titled Rocketman. After all, upon completing his undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees at the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA, Mihara enjoyed a distinguished 42-year career at Boeing as a rocket scientist.

Then, 14 years after his 1997 retirement, he forged a new career, one which saw him rocketing around the entire country giving talks about mass incarceration in the …

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The ins and outs of redress

The topic of the Japanese American Redress Movement has been abundantly rewarded by its parade of prominent chroniclers. Those authored or edited volumes which I have been privileged to read, and in some cases, to critically review, are: William Minoru Hohri, Repairing America: An Account of the Movement for Japanese American Redress (1988); Leslie T. Hatamiya, Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and the Passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (1993); Yasuko I. Takezawa, Breaking the Silence: Redress and Japanese American Ethnicity (1995); Mitchell T. Maki, Harry H. L. Kitano, and S. Megan Berthold, Achieving the Impossible Dream: How …

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Dysfunction and Sacrifice as Binding Ties

Andrew Lam, the author of the book under review, studied history at Yale University — where he graduated summa cum laude — and afterward became a retinal surgeon. His third book, Repentance, is a work of historical fiction that is debatably comparable to such classic works of this genre pertaining to the Japanese American historical experience as Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston’s Farewell to Manzanar (1973) and David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars (1994).

All three of these books are what I would characterize as “cinematic novels.” Two of them have already been made into motion pictures, …

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identity en

Counteracting 'Invisibility' Within the JA Community

This substantial volume is co-edited by two distinguished Nikkei practitioners of Japanese American studies, one a Japan-based anthropologist, Yasuko Takezawa of Kyoto University, and the other a U.S.-situated historian, Gary Okihiro of Columbia University.

Although this work is primarily targeted at other scholars and advanced university students within their common transpacific field of inquiry, its well-grounded and illuminating introduction, 14 essays, and 7 perspectival responses to the book’s contents have much to offer a general readership. At bottom, the mission of Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies is to expand and enrich Japanese American studies by moving this sub-discipline beyond its past …

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Unearthing one family's history

The volume under review, the most recent of many documentary books by award-winning veteran independent researcher, writer, and producer Tom Coffman, characteristically incorporates historical themes pertaining to Hawai‘i. What makes Tadaima! I Am Home different, however, is that its focus is upon a Hawai‘i Nikkei family history as viewed from a multigenerational, transnational perspective.

Within its short compass, readers are provided with a fascinating five-generation exploration by Coffman of male Miwa family members extending from its fallen samurai progenitor in Meiji Era Japan, Marujiro Miwa (1850-1919), down through four sons of successive generations — all of whom are bound together …

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