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Being Japanese American: A JA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa . . . and Their Friends Paperback – June 1, 2004


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Being Japanese American: A JA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa . . . and Their Friends + Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience + Farewell to Manzanar
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With "Being Japanese America, Gil Asakawa has put together a terrifically personal, humorous, and honest start-up guide. It's the kind of book I wish I'd had; then maybe I wouldn't have given mom and dad such a hard time about such an important part of my identity." -- Tamlyn Tomita, actress ("The Joy Luck Club, "Robot Stories)

About the Author

Gil Asakawa is a Sansei (3rd-generation Japanese American) writer and editor who was born in Tokyo and moved to the United States as a child. His roots in both cultures have led him to write extensively about pop culture and politics from a JA perspective. He has written the weekly "Nikkei View" column online and in syndication since 1998. He is currently director of the website of the Denver Post.
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Best Books of the Month
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Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188065685X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880656853
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gil Asakawa was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Japanese American father, and raised in Japan as an Army Brat until the family moved stateside in the mid-1960s when he was just 8 years old. He received a BFA in Painting and immediately became a rock critic and journalist out of college. Since the 1980s he has been a critic, reporter and editor, and since 1996, he's been a pioneer of digital media. He is involved in many Japanese, Japanese American and Asian American organizations and issues, and writes a blog at www.nikkeiview.com. He is also a Content Expert on Japan for www.Japanese.Answers.com. He's a speaker, consultant and expert on social media, digital content, the future of journalism and all things Asian American. He works for the University of Colorado's College of Media, Communications and Information as the adviser for the student-run news website CUIndependent.com, and since 2014 he has worked with AARP's Multicultural Marketing and Engagement Asian American Pacific Islander team.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Written by a third-generation Japanese American, being Japanese American: A JA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa... & Their Friends is a straightforward introduction to the history of Japanese Americans, including the legacy of the American government's forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and basic Japanese culture, customs, and etiquette. An especial note reflects on the how the high rate of mixed-race marriage has and continues to affect the Japanese-American community. Being Japanese American a superb guide to avoiding breaches of tact around Japanese friends, family, or visitors, regardless of one's own ethnic heritage or background, and is also chock-full of helpful ways to embrace, preserve, and treasure one's cultural identity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anne on January 6, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fresh perspective on Japanese American culture with voices from multiple generations as well as mixed ethnicities (more realistic of America today!). The author moves towards why JAs are both Japanese and American and neither all at the same time. An excellent resource for anyone interested in Asian American cultures as well as a superb guide for chronicling one's own family history.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By milite on September 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
A wealth of knowledge and an amazing resource for anyone who wants to learn more about J-A culture and history. It's funny, hip, incredibly informative, and full of "I didn't know that!" details that will delight and surprise. If you've lost touch with your roots and want to rediscover them, this book is the perfect place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hapa Dad on December 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I quite liked Mr. Asakawa's book. It is funny, charming, and informative in a non-stereotypical way. If you are part JA, it is essential. If you are interested in multiracial identity and Japanese American identity I would recommend it for your library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though this book's main audience is Japanese Americans it still has pertinent lessons for any Asian American. He uses some Japanese terminology that sometimes makes it difficult to understand, but he also includes a glossary so if you care enough you can look up the words. The book very accurately describes every ethnic community's struggle to preserve their identity while also assimilating into the American identity.
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By SanseiPDX on December 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Being a JA, I could really relate to the book. I laughed out loud, cried silently, and felt that it explained a lot of things that I was glad to see in writing. I found that I learned from the book. I bought 5 copies for Christmas gifts for my cousins in hope that they will enjoy it as much as I did. I think Sanseis would relate to it more than others, but I don't know that for sure. I'm just very glad that it was written.
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