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8Books Review: “Bury What We Cannot Take” by Kirstin Chen

8Books Review: "Bury What We Cannot Take" by Kirstin Chen

Bury What We Cannot Take, the latest novel from author Kirstin Chen set in Mao’s China, is a doozy. After 12-year-old Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the Communist Party, the family must flee their little island off the mainland. His mother applies for temporary exit visas to go to Hong Kong where his father lives. But she is told that she can either take Ah Liam or her daughter San San, leaving one behind […] Continue »

8Books Review: “Stolen Oranges” by Max Yeh

8Books Review: "Stolen Oranges" by Max Yeh

Stolen Oranges, a new novel by Max Yeh, is a whirlwind of a historical tale, recounting a series of letters written between Miguel Cervantes (of Don Quixote fame) and a Ming emperor as told by their discoverer–a Chinese American historian. I was first drawn to this novel by the back cover description: “this dazzling meditation on the intricacies of memory, language, and time.” And when it showed up at my doorstep, by the small size […] Continue »

8Books Review: ‘Thank You Very Mochi’ by Paul Matsushima, Sophie Wang, and Craig Ishii

8Books Review: 'Thank You Very Mochi' by Paul Matsushima, Sophie Wang, and Craig Ishii

What’s the book about? When Kimi and her family visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house for New Year’s mochitsuki, they discover the mochi-machine is broken. After initial fears that mochitsuki will be cancelled, Grandpa proposes an interesting, yet old-fashioned solution of making mochi the hand-pounded way. What exactly is mochitsuki? Mochitsuki, or pounding rice to make mochi (rice cakes), is an important traditional event in preparation for the New Year in Japan. (Source) My Thoughts… Raising […] Continue »

Asian American X-Files: The Only Asian Person to Have Sex With an Alien

Asian American X-Files: The Only Asian Person to Have Sex With an Alien

Ever since I read Communion by Whitley Strieber, I’ve been fixated on the alien abductee experience. One of the things I’ve noticed is that a lot of the screen memories of abductees seem to involve Asians. The definition, according to Merriam-Webster, of screen memory is: “a recollection of early childhood that may be falsely recalled or magnified in importance and that masks another memory of deep emotional significance.” When used in context of an alien […] Continue »

Did Jesus Die in Ancient Japan?

Did Jesus Die in Ancient Japan?

Twenty thousand people every year visit Shingō Village in the Aomori Prefecture (referred to as: Kirisuto no Sato or “Hometown of Christ” by locals) that claims that Jesus visited Japan during his lost years and then returned after escaping crucifixion by having his brother take his place on the cross, making his way to Shingō where he became a garlic farmer, married a local woman, and had three children. Today, in Shingō, you can visit […] Continue »

8Books Review: “The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii”

8Books Review: "The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii"

The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii, Artists and Wartime Witness brings Fujii’s art to a broader audience with the stunning pages from a diary he kept while incarcerated during World War II. Written by Barbara Johns and with an introduction by the artist’s grandson Sandy Kita, this book offers a historical, art historical, and also deeply personal insight on to Takuichi Fujii. The first half delves into Fujii’s biography, providing an overview of his […] Continue »

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 2 of 2)

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 2 of 2)

In April of this year, I was asked by Southern California Public Radio to do a presentation about my family as part of their new series called, Unheard LA. The following is the video from my talk, followed by my original speech (broken into two parts). Please note, the text is from the original draft of the speech, so at points is considerably different than the actual talk I gave. #UnheardLA – My Father's Lost […] Continue »

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 1 of 2)

My Father’s Lost Concentration Camp (Pt. 1 of 2)

In April of this year, I was asked by Southern California Public Radio to do a presentation about my family as part of their new series called, Unheard LA. The following is the video from my talk, followed by my original speech (broken into two parts). Please note, the text is from the original draft of the speech, so at points is considerably different than the actual talk I gave. #UnheardLA – My Father's Lost […] Continue »

NPR: His Life Cut Short, Vincent Chin Is Remembered For What Might Have Been – 35 Years Later

NPR: His Life Cut Short, Vincent Chin Is Remembered For What Might Have Been - 35 Years Later

Recently, NPR interviewed Vincent Chin’s best friend and best nan, Gary Koivu, to remember Chin, on the 35th anniversary of his death:   “Gary Koivu met Chin when they were in the first grade and their teacher introduced Chin to the rest of the class. They were friends for more than 20 years and Chin asked Koivu to be the best man in his wedding. … There was an auto worker,” Koivu says. “He said […] Continue »

Asian American Conspiracy Files: Senator Daniel Inouye

Asian American Conspiracy Files: Senator Daniel Inouye

I’ve mentioned before that I pretty much love anything paranormal or conspiracy related. Give me a good alien abduction, or haunting, or JFK assassination story and I will be happy for hours. Not that I believe most of it—or any of it for that matter. I find the stories fascinating, especially what they say about us as humans and society itself. The two areas of my life that rarely meet are my love for the […] Continue »

What if the “aliens” who crashed in Roswell were really Japanese?

What if the “aliens” who crashed in Roswell were really Japanese?

I’m obsessed with all things aliens—and in the time of Trump, I should be clear, the ones from outer space not the non-citizens. I’ve gone to UFO conventions, watch every alien-themed documentary on Netflix, and listen to every paranormal podcast. Like Mulder on X-Files, “I want to believe.” So that’s why I was surprised when I read Nick Redfern’s new book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy: Exposing A Shocking And Sinister Secret, that claims that maybe the […] Continue »

Federal Lawmakers Call for Stamp to Honor Chinese Railroad Workers

Federal Lawmakers Call for Stamp to Honor Chinese Railroad Workers

Recently, the State of California recognized the contributions of the Chinese railroad workers in helping to build the transcontinental railroad by declaring May 10th, ‘Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial Day.’ Now there is an effort in Congress to honor the Chinese workers on a stamp: “Federal lawmakers from New York and California reintroduced legislation Thursday calling on the Postal Service to issue a stamp that honors the Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad nearly 150 years […] Continue »