Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | asian american
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Yellowface afootI know, I know, I'm painting all of the radio industry with an awful broad brush. But let's face it, no one's doing this kind of stuff on TV. A year and a half ago, I wrote my (embarrassingly, most recent) Nikkei View column about Hot 97, a station in NYC, which broadcast a tasteless and racist satire making fun of dead Asians after the tsunami. But similar incidents continue, even up to this month.

Post / Gil Asakawa
Real sushi, from the source: a bento box at a sushi restaurant in Sapporo.
I'm in the middle of a two-week trip to Japan, and it's been a fascinating visit. I was born here in Tokyo (an Army brat -- my dad, a Nisei from Hawaii, was stationed here and met my mom during the Korean war) and moved to the states when I was 8. But as an adult, I've only been in Japan twice -- in 1994 and 1995. This time it's for a family trip, and I'm traveling with my mom. Here are some observations:

11:00 a.m. Here I sit in my rental car, mere yards from the water. I'm waiting for the Bainbridge Island Ferry in Seattle -- I missed the last one by just seconds and the next one leaves in an hour. Bainbridge Island is the place captured poetically in the book and movie, "Snow Falling on Cedars" (which means, come to think of it, that it snows in Seattle, at least sometimes).

I never got the attraction of cigarette smokers who roll their own smokes. Looks like a pain in the butt to me -- har, I made a punny! But then, I never got the attraction of cigarette smoking anyway. But these days I'm into "rolling my own" when it comes to tea... green tea, that is.

We're making great headway in the United States in getting public names changed when they are reflections of an older era when racially charged terms were considered acceptable, or at least, not controversial.

Thank you very much, Michelle Malkin. Thanks a bunch for writing your book, "In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror." Thanks for trying to prove that not only was putting Japanese Americans into U.S. concentration camps during World War II the right thing to do, but also urging that the United States use racial profiling as a tool today, against Muslims.

Samurai are big in Western pop culture these days, what with Tom Cruise's hit "The Last Samurai" and of course, Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" movies.