Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/series/nikkei-view/

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.

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Stories from this series

Thumbnail for When Family Caregiving Isn’t Enough for Your Parent
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When Family Caregiving Isn’t Enough for Your Parent

May 30, 2018 • Gil Asakawa

My brother Glenn and I moved my mom from her house in Lafayette, Colorado, last month to live in a memory care facility nearby. She’s had dementia for a long time, and it’s gotten noticeably worse for the past couple of years. I’m still sorting through how it felt to take her out of her house, and how it feels now. Junko Asakawa was born and raised in Nemuro, a small fishing town in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. …

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Rock and Roll and Ramen: Lessons in Appropriation vs Appreciation

April 27, 2018 • Gil Asakawa

My friends (and anyone who follows my social media “food porn” photos) know that I’m a snob about Japanese food. I have strong opinions on the best tonkatsu fried pork cutlets, real vs. fake sushi and Japanese restaurants staffed by non-Japanese who can’t pronounce menu items correctly. And, because I love ramen, I hate bad ramen—and in Denver bad ramen is much more common than the good stuff. That doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a tray of sushi at …

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A Salute to Our JA Veterans

Nov. 30, 2017 • Gil Asakawa

When the word “veterans” comes up in conversations within the Japanese American community, I suspect most of the time the image the word conjures is a picture of Nisei soldiers of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team fighting during World War II. More and more people might think of the Military Intelligence Service, the lesser-known group of Nisei who served bravely during WWII in the Pacific, island-hopping with General Douglas MacArthur and then helped as interpreters in the US Occupation …

Thumbnail for On writing about the JA community
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On writing about the JA community

Nov. 9, 2017 • Gil Asakawa

I started my writing career as a music critic and became a journalist with jobs at various mainstream media newspapers and later, websites, and wasn’t much concerned with covering the Japanese, Japanese American, or Asian American Pacific Islander communities or issues. I became curious about my roots when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in the early ’90s, but it wasn’t until a few years later before I started writing about being Japanese American. I met my wife, who …

Thumbnail for <em>The Little Exile</em> is a terrific addition to the JA reading list
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The Little Exile is a terrific addition to the JA reading list

Oct. 25, 2017 • Gil Asakawa

The historical story of the Japanese American incarceration during World War II is still not well-known in mainstream American culture and literature. When it comes to books, there are only a handful of books that are based on Japanese Americans’ wartime experience. After the groundbreaking, angry No-No Boy by John Okada in 1957, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s Farewell to Manazanar was the first well-known memoir in 1973 (and made better-known because of its 1976 TV movie adaptation). The 1994 novel Snow Falling on …

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The Legacy of the Sansei from a “Ni-hansei” perspective

Oct. 5, 2017 • Gil Asakawa

When I was a kid, I used to tell people who asked what generation I was, that I was “Ni-hansei,” or second-and-a-half. That’s because although my father was a Nisei born in Hawaii (technically a Kibei because his family moved to Japan in 1940 and he was stuck there during the war, but that’s another essay), I was born in Japan. My dad was in the US Army during the Korean war, and met my Issei mom in Hokkaido when …

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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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