Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Perspectives on Asian-American culture through the lens of identity, history, and experience
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NOTE: This is a re-publication of a Nikkei View blog post I wrote back in 2009, which an article in the New York Times linked to this week. The original version was on an older site and the images had been unlinked (and the food festival that inspired the original post has evolved into the Far East Fest, which was...

In her excellent book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food,” former New York Times journalist Jennifer 8 Lee explained that the fortune cookie isn’t a Chinese post-prandial delicacy at all, but rather a Japanese confection created first in Kyoto temples, adapted by Japanese Americans with little messages inside. Chinese restaurants happened to pass them out...

The Tokyo Olympics has been taking a lot of my attention now that it’s finally arrived, and I’m glad it seems to be running well, with few health issues even though Tokyo outside of the Olympics is suffering from an increase in Covid-19 infections. I hope the competition can continue, and that the Paralympics in several weeks can also be...

As I write this, the “2020” Tokyo Olympic Games are just two weeks away. It’s the second time the summer games have been held in Japan. I was a kid living in Japan when Tokyo hosted its first Olympics, from October 10-24, 1964. It was a big deal for all Japanese, and for me and my family – a Hawaii-born Nisei...

(NOTE: This is a sponsored post) I’m constantly learning more about Japanese knives and why and how they’re different from the typical kitchen knives we’ve grown up around. I’ve written about how I got into Japanese knives and why I bought my Santoku, the all-purpose knife that makes cooking a pleasure. I’m crazy about my Santoku. And now I have a Nakiri...

I love to cook, which is a good thing because I love to eat! I can trace my love for cooking to my childhood in Tokyo, watching my mom cook both Japanese and Western foods for our family meals. She was born in Nemuro, on the eastern-most tip of Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. She cooked a variety of dishes...

It’s been a tragic and depressing couple of months. Amidst the rising numbers of anti-Asian hate incidents, including harassment, verbal assaults and physical attacks, a March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta targeted Asian-owned spas and six of eight murdered victims were Asian women. The Atlanta gun rampage added an ugly layer of anti-woman to the anti-Asian hate, weaving together race and...

Hate crimes against Asians are on the rise. Again. But this time, there’s a difference from last year’s wave of hate: The “mainstream” media, from newspapers to television news, has been reporting on the spike. Hate crimes against Asians in America are nothing new, and certainly the numbers became noteworthy with the coming of the coronavirus pandemic and political leaders like...

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

Gil on Twitter


- October 13, 2021

Now that this year's garden adventures are coming to a close, I'm gonna cut and dry the green and red Shiso leaves, stems, seed pods and flowers that are still hanging on. This half-hour show about Shiso gives me renewed respect for the Japanese herb!
h J R

- October 11, 2021

The bright side, not he dark side of social media: Here's an example of a local TikTok influencer helping to save a Vietnamese-Cajun restaurant in Lakewood by getting the word out about the struggling family-run eatery.
h J R

- October 9, 2021

Autumn has fallen... winter is coming. @ Arvada, Colorado
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