Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Perspectives on Asian-American culture through the lens of identity, history, and experience
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It’s been a long, sometimes lonely three years since COVID-19 arrived in the world and changed all our lives. For many of us, this holiday season may be the first since the pandemic shutdowns when we’ll be traveling to visit family once again, and dining with them. (Of course, we didn't know a historic deep freeze would disrupt nationwide travel...

I haven't really posted a lot of stuff about cooking (or even my #foodporn photos) on the blog, but I thought I'd share this video I uploaded to YouTube. I'm an "ambassador" for Syosaku-Japan, a company that sells handmade Japanese knives. I ordered my first knife, a Santoku chef's knife, back in 2019 and fell in love with their...

Pop culture can be a mirror that reflects the issues and values of its time—for good and bad. For instance, Hollywood initially embraced Asians, and two of the early film era’s biggest stars were Los Angeles-born Chinese American Anna May Wong and Japanese-born Sessue Hayakawa. Anna May Wong is now featured on a quarter; Sessue Hayakawa is probably best remembered...

My family moved from Japan to the Washington DC area in 1966 when I was eight years old, and I fell in love with American ways and U.S. pop culture. I like to joke that I learned every American cuss word and forgot most of my Japanese in three weeks. One of the things I embraced wholeheartedly was American pop music—specifically,...

Racial stereotypes used to be part of the American consumer landscape – everywhere you turned there was a depiction, playful caricature or a ghastly exaggerated image of a person of color on commercials and ads on television or publications, or on packaging on store shelves. But if nothing else, the recent years of anti-racism protests in the wake of the...

Every year on the Saturday before Labor Day Weekend, people converge in southeast Colorado to visit Amache, the camp where 9,000 people of Japanese descent were incarcerated during World War II. This annual pilgrimage started in 1975, organized by Denver activists Marge Taniwaki and Russell Endo. It’s always an inspiring journey, which starts at the site of the concentration camp...

Like most countries including the U.S., Japan is struggling with the spread of the Omnicron variant of covid-19. Aside from its internal battles to vaccinate and provide boosters to Japanese, the country’s pretty hardline solution to help manage the pandemic has been a strict blockade of foreigners entering its borders – even foreigners with resident visas and students. Never mind...

Note: An edited version of this post will run in the Holiday Issue of the national JACL's Pacific Citizen newspaper. Japanese Americans and the wider Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are seeing more of ourselves reflected in pop culture these days, but the high arts has a ways to go. It’s important to recognize the ongoing challenges of...

Perspectives on Asian-American culture through the lens of identity, history, and experience

Gil on Twitter

@GilAsakawa

- January 5, 2023

Discover Nikkei posted my latest blog post about the return of holiday celebrations in the Japanese American community. https://t.co/rT35r0sH37
h J R
@GilAsakawa

- December 14, 2022

I should explain: Although I haven't quit Twitter, I have stopped posting content like my photos and #foodporn because of Elon Musk's terribly erratic and chaotic management. I still check in and will reply to folks. But you can find me on IG and FB.
h J R
@GilAsakawa

- December 14, 2022

@milehigha9 Mike moved back to California some years ago to take care of family... we still miss him (and his cooking for New Year's!)...
h J R
@GilAsakawa

- December 14, 2022

I was honored to "meet" these world-class chefs of Japanese heritage and have a conversation about culture and cuisine! https://t.co/vkYCb8fmkD
h J R
@GilAsakawa

- December 14, 2022

@milehigha9 The current building has some structural issues, and the facade is quite different from the postwar years... Personally I think it needs a new building that reflects its spiritual purpose more. Plus, it needs a better home for its Nokotsudo, which was added inside recently.
h J R

Gil on Instagram

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More from Gil Asakawa

Being Japanese American

“A must-read book that will delight you with its humor and amuse you with its insights; for non-Asian, a must-read book if you’re curious about what makes Japanese Americans tick.”

— John Tateishi, National Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League