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

community en

Bishop Diana Akiyama Breaking Ground for Asian American Women

PORTLAND — The Rt. Rev. Diana D. Akiyama was ordained and consecrated as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon on Jan. 30 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland.

Akiyama was the first Japanese American woman ordained to the Episcopal priesthood, and she is the first Asian American woman consecrated bishop in the Episcopal Church. She is the first bishop to be consecrated at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in over a century.

Ordained in 1988 in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon, Akiyama has extensive experience in Christian formation, teaching, social justice advocacy and mission field, having served ministries in Oregon, …

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war en

Graphic Novel Recalls Experiences of 442nd RCT

Against the contemporary backdrop of the immigration debate and family separation, of nationality-based travel bans and ultimately, the debate over what it means to be a loyal American, a trio of Japanese American artists has created 442, a graphic novel that recounts the experiences of members of their families and of their community who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most decorated unit in the history of American warfare for its size and length of service.

Made possible by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, which supports projects around the incarceration …

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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 …

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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 Mifune (1920–1997), …

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community en ja

Voices of the Volunteers: The Building Blocks of the Japanese American National Museum

James Michiya Yoshinaga

James Yoshinaga was born in 1929 in downtown Los Angeles as the eldest son of a mother from Fukuoka and a father from Kagoshima. His father was from a small land owning family in a farming village, and James’ family moved to Japan temporarily when he was three years old. Upon returning to the U.S., his parents operated a Chinese restaurant in Glendale in the suburbs of Los Angeles. But, in 1937, they moved to Kagoshima again which was intended to be a temporary stay. At the time, James was in the 2nd grade at John Muir Elementary School in …

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