George Aratani, a survivor of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and later successful businessman and philanthropist who founded Mikasa and Kenwood, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the age of 95.
His legacy in philanthropy through The Aratani Foundation has supported many Japanese American organizations, but especially in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. One literally cannot walk a block in Little Tokyo without passing by a space endowed by George and Sakaye Aratani: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s Aratani Japan America Theatre; the Japanese American National Museum’s George and Sakaye Central Hall; and the Union Center for the Arts’s Aratani Courtyard.
The Nisei Week Foundation mourns the passing of George Aratani who passed away peacefully today [Tuesday, February 19, 2013].
Aratani successfully launched post-World War II international trade enterprises. His first was Mikasa, a tableware company which was doing $400 million in annual sales when it was sold in 2000.
Influenced by his late father and motivated by the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, Aratani and his wife Sakaye have donated a sizable amount of their wealth to Japanese American organizations and causes.
How did these Japanese Canadians get into the fishing business? It seems that Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians have had some influence in fishing in the US Northwest and Canada. The fishing technique for salmon called “Mooching,” drift-fishing using only a banana-lead weight tied to a leader with a herring, described here, was said to be invented to by Japanese immigrant fisherman. The name, according to this account, comes from these Japanese fisherman who did so well that other fisherman would “mooch” their bait to use themselves. The Tengu fishing derby in Elliott Bay near Seattle was started by these Japanese-American fisherman in the 1930’s. A “Tengu” is a creature from Japanese mythology whose nose, like Pinnochio’s, grew when it lied, a perfect name for a fishing contest (think “fish” stories about “the one that got away”). The tournament was interrupted by the Japanese American internment, but has been going on ever since. Bob Izumi’s father started one of the first fishing tournaments in Ontario. Japanese-American and Seattle Native Mark Yuasa blogs about fishing for the Seattle Times.
Researching this post makes me want to try fishing some day. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the influence that Asian-Americans and Asian-Canadians have had on fishing in North America. Plus, Mariko Izumi’s show seems like a great and certainly easy on the eyes way to start learning about it!
Kawasaki disease is an inflammation of the middle size arteries that occurs in children. This inflammation can affect many areas, but the most serious and lasting problems happen in the heart’s arteries, where aneurysms can lead to heart attacks, even in young children. Common symptoms are a prolonged fever with pink eyes or pink lips, such as shown by this baby. It most commonly occurs in children of Japanese descent. Most children completely recover from the disease, which is treated with aspirin and Gamma Globulin. Long lasting complications, when they occur, are typically heart problems caused by damage to coronary arteries.