Gil Asakawa

Gil Asakawa escribe sobre la cultura pop y la política en su blog desde una perspectiva asiático-americana y japonés-americana, Él y su pareja también cofundaron, en donde realizan entrevistas en vivo con asiático-americanos e isleños del Pacífico notables. Es el autor de Being Japanese American (Stone Bridge Press, 2004) y fue presidente de la junta editorial del Pacific Citizen por siete años como miembro de la junta nacional JACL.

Última actualización en noviembre de 2009

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Karaoke on Steriods

This article was written in 2003. I haven’t judged the Kohaku Utagassen contest since then, but I’ve attended the event most years. It’s still a tradition for Denver’s Japanese-speaking community, and a showcase for the older generation’s treasured “enka” style of pop song.

This weekend I discovered that karaoke can be incredibly elegant, and a legitimate form of entertainment—not just bar fodder.


I was a judge for the 28th annual Red vs. White Singing Competition, Denver’s professionally-staged version of Japan’s Kohaku Utagassen contest. In Japan, Kohaku Utagassen is an institution. It’s an annual contest between women (red team) and …

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Denver Pays Tribute to Bill Hosokawa, a Japanese American Leader

Many Japanese Americans—especially older JAs—will be familiar with the name Bill Hosokawa.


He wrote a column, “From the Frying Pan,” which was a running commentary on Japanese America that ran in thePacific Citizen, the national newspaper of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), a civil rights organization, for decades. In 1969 he published the first comprehensive history of Japanese Americans, “Nisei: The Quiet Americans,” that included information about internment. In 1982 he published “JACL: The Quest for Justice,” a history of JACL. He also published a collection of “Frying Pan” columns with added observations in 1998.

His …

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“Escape from Manchuria” chronicles a forgotten chapter of WWII history

Emperor Hirohito of Japan gave an unprecedented radio address at noon 65 years ago today, on August 15, 1945, to announce that Japan would surrender unconditionally to the United States and the allied powers.


The Victory over Japan Day, or VJ Day, officially ended World War II on September 2 1945 when Japan signed the documents of surrender aboard the USS Missouri, and ushered in an era of incredible prosperity for Americans, even though more wars, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan, would prevent peace in the decades to come.

The end of WWII is justly celebrated as …

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Occupational Hazards

The war is over and parts of the country, including parts of the capitol, are in ruins. US military forces move in as occupiers, serving as a transition until the country can be rebuilt and a new government installed.


Actually, a new government wasn’t installed, at least, not completely. This isn’t Iraq in 2003. It’s Japan in 1945, weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.

A half-century later, Americans have celebrated so much about World War II—the righteousness of the war, …

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Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

Some people think Japan’s earthquake and tsunami are payback for Pearl Harbor? Really?

I was shocked, saddened and depressed when I learned that there are people in the United States who think that the Tohoku Kanto Earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which has caused enormous damage and casualties that will surely top 10,000, is some sort of karmic payback for Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. Really? Seriously?


Yes, unfortunately. Here’s just a sampling of some updates and comments from Facebookthat rant about Pearl Harbor and the tsunami, and how the U.S shouldn’t send any aid to Japan:

Who bombed Pearl Harbor? Karmas a bitch.

Do I feel bad for japan? …

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