Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | politics
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The skeletal dome that marks ground zero for the atomic bomb that deciated Hiroshima is now part of the city's Peace Memorial Park. We live in tumultuous – and possibly perilous – times. Our government and society at large is more divided than I can remember, even during my childhood in the 1960s. Race and gender issues fill the headlines every day, and that’s just looking at domestic headlines. It’s not “fake news” to say that our country is struggling today, on a variety of levels on a variety of topics.

One of the great benefits of today’s social media – and why I urge everyone, young and old, to at least be on Facebook – is that it can connect you to people you know, people you don’t know, and maybe most surprisingly, to people you used to know. When baby boomers starting logging into Facebook about a decade ago, I...

Many Japanese Americans I know don’t pay much attention to Japan, which I think is a pity. I believe JAs should keep up with news from Japan, and travel to Japan. A lot. However, most JAs I know closely follow the news of Donald Trump’s presidency, and what he’s doing in the US. A standing-room-only crowd attended this year's Japanese American Day...

Late last year, Erin and I were lucky enough to travel to New York City to see the Broadway musical “Allegiance” starring George Takei. It’s a story about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and it vividly and powerfully brings to life the emotional toll of the experience on JAs for generations since then. I wrote about...

Denver's Mayor Michael B. Hancock welcomes the 100 applicants and their family members to the citizenship ceremony. I was born in Japan, but because my father was born in Hawaii when it was a U.S. territory, I am an American citizen. I didn't have to take a test, and recite an oath of allegiance. After my family moved to the...

[caption id="attachment_5719" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Hundreds of Lakewood High School students, including this one, left their classrooms in September to protest a proposed history curriculum they believed would lead to censorship. Students organized the walkouts using social media sites like Facebook. Photo by Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat Colorado Hundreds of Lakewood High School students, including this one, left their classrooms in September to protest a proposed history curriculum they believed would lead to censorship. Students organized the walkouts using social media sites like Facebook. (Photo by Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat Colorado) [/caption] I grew up as part of a generation that found our collective voice in protest, for African American civil rights, against the war in Vietnam, and to advocate for women’s and LGBT rights and Asian American studies. College students have been at the forefront of many of these social movements. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee was a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. College students led the free speech movement at the University of California at Berkeley, and the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society was formed at the University of Michigan. Students led protests across the globe, including the Prague Spring in 1968 all the way to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Even the Taiwan protests earlier this year and the current and Hong , Kong democracy protests. But in Colorado where I live, my admiration goes out to a group of high school students, who have been protesting in Jefferson County, the school district where I graduated in the 1970s.

[caption id="attachment_4839" align="aligncenter" width="520"] Kimiko Side, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun award from the Emperor of Japan, toasts "campai" during the Emperor's Birthday reception Dec. 3, with Consul General Ikuhiko Ono at the left of the photo and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock behind her.[/caption] This was a good year for Japanese and Japanese Americans in Colorado. A...

When journalist Seth Rosenfeld wrote in a San Francisco Chronicle article in August that Richard Aoki, the mysterious Japanese American who was one of the leaders of the radical Black Panther Party, was an FBI informant during the turbulent 1960s, the revelation exploded within the Asian American community. The bombshell brought on a fussilade of defenses of Aoki's place as a...