Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Perspectives on Asian-American culture through the lens of identity, history, and experience
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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...

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...

During the last week of October, there was a lot on my mind, including Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic, and of course the November U.S. elections. But I also found myself at a moment in time, looking back one year that week to a 2019 family trip to Japan, and looking forward to next year with the hopes that we’ll...

When I was a kid in late 1950s-early 1960s Japan, I didn’t grow up drinking what American kids did. I loved the sweet but slightly sour, yogurty flavor of Calpis. That was my favorite soft drink, and it still is, under the Westernized name Calpico. Sure, I could get Coca-Cola on military bases, because my brother and I went to school on...

If nothing else, the pandemic of 2020 has caused many of us to hunker down and go out much less than before – if at all. With restaurants, bars and clubs shut down, many shops closed other than essential businesses for groceries, gas and whatnot, and no concerts, movies or other events to attend, our entertainment options became limited. And yet,...

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all gotten used to staying home every evening – no parties, dinners at restaurants, movie nights, concerts. Just a lot of plopping down on the couch to see what’s available on demand via cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime or other streaming source that brings entertainment to your living room. A lot of people have been reading...

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

Gil on Twitter


- December 2, 2021

Yes, we get Taco Bell cravings from time to time: Crunchy Tacos and a Burrito Supreme can hit the spot.. #twEATs #foodporn @ Taco Bell
h J R

- November 30, 2021

Grilled yumminess: Bun Dac Biet from Hot Pho #twEATs #foodporn @ Hot Pho
h J R

- November 29, 2021

#Vaxxed and boosted: Pfizer in April, Moderna today. #corona #vaccinationdone✔️
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