Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | asian american
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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...

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...

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...

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...

A great American photographer died on January 27 at a hospital in Queens, New York, his hometown. But you may not recognize his name: Corky Lee. Like the subject of his half-century career, Asians in America, who have historically been invisible to mainstream Americans, Corky was invisible – he didn’t seek the spotlight, he just wanted to record the community around...