A Cultural Touchstone Fends off the End of an Era

In the Age of the Angry Asian Man Blog, 113-year-old Japanese-American Newspaper 'The Rafu Shimpo' Reaches Out to New Readers

Long before I was the English editor of The Rafu Shimpo—the newspaper that covers Japanese-American communities up and down the Pacific Coast and other Japanese-American hubs like Denver, New York, and Chicago—I was a Japanese-American kid from San Pedro seeking out my place in the universe.

In San Pedro, a blue-collar coastal neighborhood defined by the Port of Los Angeles and its large population of Italians and Croatians, I never thought about my cultural identity. Japanese-Americans were once a large presence on Terminal Island, but when the government rounded up …

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Life in Iran Is a Wistful Elegy for the Past

On a Trip Back to My Father’s Homeland, I Found a Country Made Generous by Its Sorrow

It was late April, and the snow had only just melted in Meygoon, a mountain town north of Tehran.

I had arrived in Iran the night before and was staying …

America Is Still Fundamentally a British Colony

Adrian Wooldridge, an editor and columnist at The Economist, says that America has defined itself by accepting or rejecting elements of British culture. He spoke at a Smithsonian/Zócalo “What It …

Fretwork

By the time Mother took me to her birthplace—Bequia—
I was a fifth-grade wordsmith in a first-grader’s body.
H-o-m-e—too easy—was off my spelling list although

I didn’t know what home meant. …

New Orleans Taught Me the Meaning of Home

Though Our Lives Have Picked Different Paths, the City Remains the Ground Zero of Our Family's Dramas

I’d just woken up in my mother’s home outside Bay St. Louis, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It was late February, Mardi Gras season. It was chilly, and as my …