Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Happy Korematsu Day. :)"

I just received the above text message from a friend who is a political science professor. I wasn't aware that January 30th (his birthday) is Fred Korematsu Day in California and Hawaii! Fred Korematsu is best known for the 1944 Supreme Court case, Korematsu v. United States, which questioned the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066. The case was the culmination of litigation that began in 1942 after he was arrested on the street, having failed to report to his local Assembly Center by the date he was required to. Sadly, the Supreme Court ruled EO 9066 constitutional.

Thirty-nine years later in 1983, the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Francisco overturned Korematsu's conviction. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's decision has not been overturned, in spite of the government apologizing in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 signed by President Ronald Reagan and in the letter from President George H. W. Bush that accompanied redress payments. 

Although we've managed to avoid the wholesale round-up of Muslim and Arab Americans in recent years, their civil rights are still sometimes violated. It's sad, that Fred Korematsu's words still holds true for some American citizens.

“According to the Supreme Court decision regarding my case, being an American citizen was not enough. They say you have to look like one, otherwise they say you can’t tell a difference between a loyal and a disloyal American. I thought that this decision was wrong and I still feel that way. As long as my record stands in federal court, any American citizen can be held in prison or concentration camps without a trial or a hearing. That is if they look like the enemy of our country. Therefore, I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed or color.”

See also: my introductory post about the Japanese American incarceration during WWII.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tewassa Christmas Charity Concert Pictures

I wasn't able to take many pictures at the Tewassa Christmas concert in December because I was working, but photographer Tomoko Leman of Tomoko Photo was on hand. She sent me these photos a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot to post them. Thanks, Tomoko!

Tsunami+Sandy+Deep Water Horizon: bringing awareness after the disaster

Local actor and model Mariko Kanto is organizing a month an a half of events around the anniversary of 3/11/11. Tsunami+Sandy+Deep Water Horizon: bringing awareness after the disaster, features an exhibit at the Hancock 309 Gallery in Dorchester that will run from Saturday, February 9 at 6pm through Saturday, March 23 at 6pm. The exhibit will feature Camila Chaves Cortes's TSUNAMI as well as works from:

Charles G. Baldwin
Brenda F. Burton
Drea Designs Couture
Jason Fitz-Gerald
Mihoko Hakata
Eric Hovermale
Wendy Jean Hyde
Nobuyuki Inukai
Matthew Lazure

Tewassa, the Japanese quilting group I'm a member of, will be participating in some of the events. We'll definitely be at the opening although our other appearances are TBA. We'll have the current quilt that we're working on - one that was pieced together by students at Brookline High School - on hand so people can add a few stitches of decoration.

Hancock 309 Gallery
309 Hancock Street, Dorchester, MA 02125
Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 11am to 3pm
Weekdays: By appointment

Opening Reception
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Update: Event is cancelled due to weather.
(2/23: Oops, I forgot to update this to reflect that it was rescheduled to Saturday, February 15, 2013)
6pm - 8pm
Light refreshments provided
Music by Terry Orlando Jones, Juri & Genuine Voices

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom Film Screening
Saturday, March 2, 2013
5pm - 6pm
Donation Suggested

Live / Silent Auction w/ Food Drinks Live Music
Saturday, March 9, 2013
6pm - 9:30pm (Live auction @ 7:30pm)
$20 in advance, $25 at the door
Click on link above to see the art that's being auctioned.
Music by Terry Orlando Jones, Juri & Genuine Voices
All proceeds will go to the Soma City Earthquake Disaster Orphan Scholarship Fund except for one piece which will benefit Tewassa.

3.11 Vigil and Short Film Screening
Monday, March 11, 2013
7pm - 8:30pm
Donation Suggested

Talk: Disaster Management with Office of Emergency Management
Guest Speaker: Christina Maryland, Office of Emergency Management
Saturday, March 23, 2013
11;30AM - 12:30PM
Donation Suggested

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sushi Class with José Garcia of Ebi Sushi

José Garcia, co-owner of Ebi Sushi

José Garcia, co-owner of Ebi Sushi in Union Square, is teaching a sushi class later this month as part of the Somerville Arts Council's "Culinary Travels" cooking series. You eat what you make! 

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Price: $40
Learn the art of crafting delicious and exquisite sushi and rolls with sushi chef and Ebi Sushi owner, Jose Garcia. Trained for 8 years with Japanese sushi chefs, Jose is well equipped to teach students how to prepare the rice, cut the fish, assemble sushi and make accompanying accoutrements like wasabi and pickled ginger. You will make your own California roll and the more complex avocado roll. Jose will also show you how to make nigiris (more commonly known as sushis) and the rainbow roll—a California roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp and avocado on top. You also will learn how to eat sushi while Jose shares his deep knowledge of sushi evolution and customs and explores the differences between Japan and American sushi traditions.
I've been meaning to post a review of Ebi Sushi for quite some time, but I never got around to finishing it. It's my favorite local (to me) Japanese restaurant and I eat there at least once a week.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Once upon a time New Year was considered the most important holiday in Japan but I've heard that Christmas in all it's capitalist KFC glory has overtaken it which seems too bad. I grew up eating osechi (traditional New Year's food). I love any holiday that's all about food. I got prepared osechi foods from the grocery store exactly once after leaving home and realized it's just a huge pain for one person. These days the only thing I try to eat is mochi. I wasn't aware until this year that there was any place to get fresh mochi in Boston and I told myself I was going to have some, but I never got my act together to place an order at Mochi Kitchen or Ebisuya. Instead I just had some packaged mochi from Miso Market (pictured above).

Luckily for me one of my Japanese friends decided to have a New Year's Eve party at the last minute so I got to eat all manner of tasty Japanese food last night. Someone brought what seemed to be stewed kumquats, which I'm told are a traditional New Year's food, although I don't recall having it as a child.


There was datemaki, one of my personal favorites.


There were other things I didn't manage to get pictures of including kuri kinton, umeboshi, annin tofu, and tasty nabe with salmon, pork, tofu, enoki, and Chinese cabbage.

Temaki fixins

We made temaki with maguro and salmon and had the most delicious buta no kakuni (braised pork belly) that had been cooked with whole eggs and daikon (here's a recipe in English that's similar to the one my friend used, although with the addition of star anise).

Buta no kakuni

There was non-Japanese food as well: smoked salmon and cream cheese, dried figs with cream cheese, pumpkin pie, and chocolate cake. Fortunately or unfortunately we were too full to eat everything our hostess could have fed us. We didn't even get to the soba or oshiruko (azuki soup with mochi).

Tomorrow, Ebisuya in Medford is having a hatsuuri (first sale of the New Year) event from 10AM to 8PM that I might check out.
Announcing our HATSU-URI!
Please visit us on Weds, Jan 2nd. for special sales and delights.
All children will receive a money gift, and all adults in Kimono will too!
This is your chance to wear special outfits. Come enjoy! 
Akemashite omedetou!