by Amanda Ong
On Oct. 18, artist and author Katie Yamasaki will release Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey, a portrait of Katie’s grandfather — Minoru Yamasaki, the architect of the Pacific Science Center and the World Trade Center. Minoru Yamasaki was one of the most accomplished architects of the 20th century, and he was born and raised in Seattle’s Japantown, or Nihonmachi.
Continue reading Granddaughter of Architect Minoru Yamasaki Remembers Him in ‘Shapes, Lines, and Light’
by Amanda Ong
Memories of a Japanese American community before internment are strewn in bits and pieces across Seattle: the panels in Pike Place Market commemorating the original Japanese American farmers, fruit trees in South Park that had once been orchards planted by Japanese Americans, KOBO in CID at the former Higo 10 Cents Store of Japantown, or the bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum donated from neighbors who took care of the trees for Japanese families who never returned.
Continue reading The 80th Anniversary of EO 9066 and Japanese Americans’ Seattle Legacy
by Sharon Ho Chang
There are still a couple of weeks left to enjoy the fifth annual “Hai! Japantown,” a 20-day summer festival celebrating Seattle’s historic Nihonmachi or Japantown. The festival offers a unique and important opportunity to learn about and support the revival of what was once the West Coast’s second-largest Japanese American community.
“‘Hai! Japantown’ is important because it shows that the spirit of Japantown is still alive,” said Lei Ann Shiramizu, former co-owner of Momo, a cornerstone of Seattle’s Japantown, which just closed last September after 13 years. She has been involved in “Hai! Japantown” from the start (in fact she and her husband named it) and is helping manage social media and the calendar of events for this year’s festival.
“It’s like the Japanese saying, you know, ‘Fall down seven times, get up eight.’ Even during this very, very challenging year, the businesses have managed to stay alive. And not only that, they have continued to thrive because we have some of the small businesses taken over by the next generation … that has infused these businesses or these spaces with young energy and new ideas and it’s wonderful.”
Continue reading ‘Hai! Japantown 2021’: Honoring the Past and Reviving the Present
by Carolyn Bick
Under the warm, yellow lights of Kobo in the Chinatown-International District’s Japantown, Mako Willet readied her sanshin, an Okinawan instrument similar to a lute, to play another song, supposed to warn fishermen about stepping on sharp conch shells.
Continue reading PHOTOS: The Celebratory and Somber Performances of Hai! Japantown