Stuff contributed by gasagasagirl

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Seven—Who’s Ex?

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter six“That guy is my best friend’s ex.” The lie about Laker2009, otherwise known as Rick Sleazeball Saiki, my former boyfriend, comes out so easily. He has just been in the office of my fledgling business, Baishakunin, Inc., a matchmaking service that is somehow supposed to keep my condo …

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Six—Behind the Shoji Screen

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter fiveI pull Jake, my landlord, behind the Japanese folded screen in the back of the offices of Baishakunin, Inc. “Ah, ah—” No words emerge as I gesture towards the voices in the reception area. What do you say when your ex-boyfriend is looking for love at your fledgling …

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Five—Full House

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter four“Cool. This going to be a soft-porn gig?”

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Four—Finding Mrs. Butterworth

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter threeIt’s been a week and I’ve gone to at least ten garage sales, two 99-cents outlets, and five thrift stores to make the headquarters of my new matchmaking service, Baishakunin, Inc., halfway presentable. My best friend Ginne Lee did her part by lending me all this Japanese stuff …

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Three—Let’s Make a Deal

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter twoEver since I turned 35 (two years ago), everyone has treated me differently. During every holiday dinner, my parents and my younger brother with his wife and two kids look at me pitifully, as if my expiration date has long passed. I’m no longer part of the cool …

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Two—Eat Your Brussel Sprouts

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter one“You actually don’t look too bad, considering,” says Ginnie as we are seated at La Grande Orange Café, the new restaurant on the bottom floor of the Pasadena condo unit I live in.

Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter One—The Games People Play

Naomi Hirahara

Jamie Kaneko carefully counts out fifteen sheets of toilet paper on her roll, tears on the perforated line, and hands the loose end to me with a smile. “Here you go—now don’t start until I tell you to.”

1001 Cranes: Excerpt from a new novel for young readers

Naomi Hirahara

The following is an excerpt from Naomi Hirahara’s middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes, which tells the story of Angela Michiko Kato, a 12-year-old girl who has to spend a summer with her grandparents in Gardena, CA while her parents are going through marital problems.

The Nihongo Papers

Chapter 12

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter 11Carlos Yamashita’s favorite Japanese superhero was Kikaider. Half blue and half red, Kikaider was a humanoid robot created to save the world from a mad scientist, Professor Gill. Carlos regularly watched old Japanese Kikaider live-action programs broadcast on cable in Paraguay. One of his friends also brought back …

The Nihongo Papers

Chapter 11

Naomi Hirahara

>> Chapter 10Saburo Shishido looked up at the house. Although vacant, it was still standing. A Victorian, the house was designed by one of the preeminent architects in Watsonville. He and Itsuko had stayed in the round room after they got married. The union had been arranged by their parents …

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About

Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of two mystery series set in Los Angeles. Her Mas Arai series, which features a Hiroshima survivor and gardener, has been translated into Japanese, Korean and French. Her first Mas Arai novel, SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, is currently being developed into an independent film. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper and curator of historical exhibitions, she has also published noir short stories, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction books, including TERMINAL ISLAND: LOST COMMUNITIES OF LOS ANGELES and two biographies for the Japanese American National Museum, including AN AMERICAN SON: THE STORY OF GEORGE ARATANI, FOUNDER OF MIKASA AND KENWOOD. Co-written with Heather Lindquist, a book on the struggles of Japanese Americans after being released from Manzanar concentration camp (LIFE AFTER MANZANAR) was published by Heyday Books in 2018. Her seventh and final Mas Arai mystery, HIROSHIMA BOY, was released the same year. Set to be released in September 2019, her new mystery, ICED IN PARADISE, will follow the adventures of Leilani Santiago, who operates her family’s shave ice business in Kaua’i. She received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns
  • language

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