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Nikkei View


Dec. 3, 2009 - Nov. 30, 2023

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.

Visit the Nikkei View: The Asian American Blog >> 



Stories from this series

Thumbnail for Reiko Rizzuto’s “Hiroshima in the Morning” is a powerful memoir - Part 1
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Reiko Rizzuto’s “Hiroshima in the Morning” is a powerful memoir - Part 1

Oct. 14, 2010 • Gil Asakawa

The media are reporting on how Muslim Americans are braced for attacks this weekend, because of the 9/11 anniversary. I know what that’s like, unfortunately, though not on the scale of violence and hatred Muslims are facing today. It’s a sad commentary on the state of American “patriotism” that Japanese Americans still get nervous every December 7 because we grew up with racial slurs of “go home, Japs” and “Remember Pearl Harbor!” Such are the deep emotional scars that form …

Thumbnail for RIP Kyoko Kita – Denver’s Japanese community loses a cultural giant
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RIP Kyoko Kita – Denver’s Japanese community loses a cultural giant

Sept. 28, 2010 • Gil Asakawa

Tonight Erin and I heard some sad and shocking news. Kyoko Kita, a sensei, or teacher, of almost any traditional Japanese art or cultural tradition, died this morning of a massive heart attack while driving her sister and cousin back to Denver International Airport for their return to Japan. When she felt chest pains, Kita Sensei pulled off I-70 and saved her guests’ lives before dying. It’s a symbolically fitting, though incredibly sad, end to a rich and incredibly influential …

Thumbnail for Margaret Kasahara’s pop art pokes at Asian stereotypes
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Margaret Kasahara’s pop art pokes at Asian stereotypes

May 25, 2010 • Gil Asakawa

Margaret Kasahara was almost half an hour late to the opening reception of her first Denver solo exhibit, at the Sandra Phillips Gallery along the Arts District on Santa Fe Drive. Her fans, friends and collectors milled around soaking in the art on the wall, and made chit-chat until she entered, flustered from being stuck in traffic on this rainy spring evening. The Colorado Springs-based painter began making the rounds, and one acquaintance made slight of the fact that she …

Thumbnail for “Ninja Assassin” updates the ninja image for the 21st century
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“Ninja Assassin” updates the ninja image for the 21st century

Dec. 30, 2009 • Gil Asakawa

The new movie “Ninja Assassin” just might spark a new wave of fascination with Asian martial arts, but instead of kung fu, the fad will be for ninjutsu, the art of the ninja warrior. The film updates the image of the silent, stealthy assassins from Japanese history, and suggests that ninja clans still exist, sending out mercenaries all over the world to kill off targets for gold. It’s an enticing concept, and one that’s in line with the tradition of …

Thumbnail for In praise of San Jose’s Japantown — the JA Mayberry
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In praise of San Jose’s Japantown — the JA Mayberry

Dec. 3, 2009 • Gil Asakawa

Unlike the many Chinatowns that serve as ethnic cultural enclaves in many American cities from coast to coast, and the increasing numbers of districts variously called “Koreatowns” and “Little Saigons,” you won’t find many Nihonmachi , or Japantowns. There are lots of reasons for this, but the main one is probably the Japanese American community’s need to assimilate into mainstream America after the shame and humiliation of being imprisoned in internment camps during World War II. In the 1950s and …

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Author in This Series

Gil Asakawa is a journalist, editor, author, and blogger who covers Japan, Japanese American and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture and social justice issues in blogs, articles, and social media. He is a nationally-known speaker, panelist, and expert on Japanese American and Asian American history and identity. He’s the author of Being Japanese American (Stone Bridge Press) and his next book, Tabemasho! Let’s Eat! (Stone Bridge Press), a history of Japanese food in America which will be published in 2022. His blog: nikkeiview.com

Updated January 2022

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