Nikkei View

Esta serie presenta selecciones de “Nikkei View: The Asian American Blog” (Punto de Vista Nikkei: El blog asiático-americano) de Gil Asakawa, el cual presenta una perspectiva japonés-americana sobre la cultura pop, los medios y la política.

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Learning about Asian Americans through Pop Culture

Pop culture can be a mirror that reflects the issues and values of its time—for good and bad. For instance, Hollywood initially embraced Asians, and two of the early film era’s biggest stars were Los Angeles-born Chinese American Anna May Wong and Japanese-born Sessue Hayakawa.

Anna May Wong is now featured on a quarter; Sessue Hayakawa is probably best remembered today for The Bridge over the River Kwai.

But as the 20th century progressed, Hollywood began casting white actors with eyes taped back and “yellowface” makeup on their faces to play Asian roles. Some of our greatest actors, like …

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I’m so disappointed to see stereotyped snack packaging in my supermarket

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 murders of George Floyd and the many Black men and women before him and since, has awakened mainstream Americans and the media and institutions that serve them and let them know in no uncertain terms that racial images are no …

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Tokyo’s Second Olympics Will Be Forever Remembered for Its Unique Circumstances

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 dad working for the US Army, my Issei mom from Hokkaido and my older brother and me (a younger brother would be born Oct. 29, less than a week after the games’ closing). I was six years old, and aware that …

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On writing about the JA community

I started my writing career as a music critic and became a journalist with jobs at various mainstream media newspapers and later, websites, and wasn’t much concerned with covering the Japanese, Japanese American, or Asian American Pacific Islander communities or issues.

I became curious about my roots when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in the early ’90s, but it wasn’t until a few years later before I started writing about being Japanese American. I met my wife, who is Sansei, in the late ’90s and one of the first things she said to me was that I’m a …

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Construyendo puentes con la comunidad musulmana

A fines del año pasado, Erin y yo tuvimos la suerte de viajar a la ciudad de Nueva York para ver el musical de Broadway Allegiance protagonizado por George Takei. Es una historia sobre la encarcelación de los japoneses-americanos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y retrata vívida y poderosamente el impacto emocional de la experiencia de los japoneses-americanos por generaciones desde entonces. Escribí sobre la obra de teatro y entrevisté a Takei (solo en inglés) y a otros para la Comunidad AARP AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders/Asiático-Americanos e Isleños del Pacífico de la American Association of Retired Persons/Asociación Americana …

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