February 2023

Issue
38

World Travel is the Most Worthwhile Activity a Human Being Can Do

You should travel as far and as wide as possible. It's the only way to taste the fullness of life.

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Visiting My Grandpa's Hometown in Hawaii

This trip was more than just another vacation to Hawaii, it was my family’s chance to walk through my grandpa’s memory lane alongside him.

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Enough is Enough: Musings of a Recovering Anorexic

It is exhausting to live in a world where I’m told to celebrate my whole self while being encouraged to abandon my basic needs to live a full and healthy life in order to be valued and accepted by society.

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Tips and Mishaps from my Trip to Japan

The last time I was in Japan, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga was charting, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 had just hit theatres, and infinity scarves and hair feathers were in. These are my tips and mishaps on my first trip to Japan in over a decade!

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A Minimalist Packing Guide to a Week in Japan

If you are like me (or me previously) and have a compulsory need to pack 5 pairs of shoes for a 3 day trip and you want to change, then this article might be the one for you. Here’s my guide to going from a 50 lb check in bag to a 17 lb backpack for my 7-day Japan trip and all the options I had to consider.

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Japan Survival Guide for the Non-Fluent Speaker

What I did, and how I traveled through Japan knowing a limited amount of Japanese.

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Home Sweet Japan

Japan's been a second home for me, a place of comfort and familiarity. But I know this won't last.

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Are Hostels For You?

It’s really just a matter of what you’re prioritizing on a trip, and if it’s meeting people and going out, then there really is no substitute for a hostel. This experience instilled confidence in accommodations for backpacking travelers and in my own abilities to deal with new situations and environments.

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radiYO! | February 2023 Playlists

For whatever Valentine’s Day mood you might be in - check out our February radiYO! playlists from some of our favorite tastemakers.

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We Love Love (and Valentine's Day)

Despite the mixed reputation of Valentine's Day, I'm here to offer a few reasons to help advocate for my personal favorite holiday. We really do love love, so why not love Valentine's Day too? :)

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Where to Find the Best Veganized Japanese Food in Japan

Being vegan in Japan can seem daunting, but with the recent popularity of plant-based cuisine across the major cities, it can be easy to find filling and tasty vegan meals!

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5 Non-food ideas for your kids' Valentine’s Day class gift

Valentine’s Day is a special time for kids, but it doesn’t have to be all about food and candy. If you're looking for non-food and no-candy options for your children’s Valentine’s Day class gifts, here are 5 ideas and a free printable card.

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Remember, Reflect, Renew: 5 Reasons to Attend a Day of Remembrance Program

What are you doing this February 19th? The Day of Remembrance is an important time for us as community members to reflect on our unique history and make connections to our endeavors in the present.

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Our Latest Articles

May 2024 Issue: Japantowns Cover Art

By
Kyle Okazaki
I
May 6, 2024

To celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month, we wanted to highlight our Japantowns by dedicating our May issue to these spaces. Cover art by Kyle Okazaki, read more about his piece now.

Hula Practices in Little Osaka

By
Kayla Tanaka
I
May 6, 2024

Most SoCal Japanese Americans look at Sawtelle as a place of gathering to eat, shop for J-pop influenced items, enjoy West L.A. obon, and visit the local nursery. To me, Sawtelle symbolizes HOURS of hula competition practices and bonding with hula sisters over a sweet treat from Pinkberry.

A Sho-Time Capsule: Stories about the Dodgers, Street Art & The Japanese Renaissance

By
Kevin Charles Keizuchi
I
May 4, 2024

Every time I go down to Little Tokyo I can't help but smile at the larger-than-life portrait towering over the Yagura. Shohei has become a fixture of the street. Kevin asks community members for their reactions to the new Shohei Ohtani mural.

The Death Deck Aims to Normalize Conversations About Death

By
Nicole Oshima
I
May 3, 2024

How comfortable are you with talking about death? Would you feel more comfortable talking about it over some beers and pizza with friends?

From Intern to C-suite: Embracing the Career Journey

By
Kenyon Mayeda
I
May 3, 2024

Initially, it wasn’t apparent how my connection to the community would help me advance my career, especially in the for-profit world. However, your unique mix of experiences and community connections may generate the most distinct and valuable ideas that anyone around you has seen.

Unsolicited Opinions on Ramen, from a Ramen Hater

By
Dani Yang
I
May 3, 2024

Perhaps the one that most often sparks conversation amongst friends and strangers alike (and is thus impulsively dropped into random moments of stalled conversation on my most annoying and devious of whims), is my dislike of ramen.

Between Queens: Reflections on Court Experiences from LA to SF to HI

By
Justin Kawaguchi
I
May 2, 2024

Reflections from this past year's three festival queens in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu!

Love in a Grocery Store Aisle

By
Alicia Tan
I
April 25, 2024

I know that for many, Little Tokyo is more than just a tourist spot. It’s a safe space for Japanese people to gather and participate in community activities and building. If a Japantown is supposed to be a safe space for Japanese people, then Japanese markets are my Japantown.

In Defense of Natto

By
Sean Macdonald
I
April 17, 2024

I contend, try natto. It may seem disgusting, but really dive deep and see for yourself.

dancing in the starshine | April 2024 radiYO! Playlists

By
Nicole Oshima
I
April 16, 2024

Celebrate the end of spring with playlists made by some of our favorite tastemakers.

laying under sakura trees | March 2024 radiYO! Playlists

By
Nicole Oshima
I
March 20, 2024

Celebrate cherry blossom szn with playlists made by some of our favorite tastemakers.

Traveling for "Free"

By
Kent Marume
I
March 16, 2024

Learn how I only spent around $1,250 this year on two roundtrip international flights, 10 nights in Japan, and three nights in Amsterdam. 

A Student's Guide to Organizing a Day of Remembrance

By
Alicia Tan
I
March 6, 2024

If you’ve ever been interested in organizing a Day of Remembrance ceremony for your community, here is a beginner-friendly guide from newbie Alicia Tan who successfully participated in the organization of two this year.

Studio Ghibli’s Mundane Masterpiece

By
Alicia Tan
I
January 18, 2024

If there’s one thing Studio Ghibli is known for, it’s their ability to create amazing fantasy worlds. So why is it that my favorite Studio Ghibli film takes place in our own mundane world?

“The Boy and the Heron” Prepares Studio Ghibli Fans to Say Goodbye

By
Alicia Tan
I
January 18, 2024

Although “The Boy and the Heron” encapsulates a profound message about physical loss, it also feels like a love letter to Studio Ghibli fans.

To my younger self: A semester into college, here’s what I know!

By
Alicia Tan
I
January 18, 2024

I just finished my first semester of college, and since college was always the one big milestone you were looking forward to, I’m here to let you know that things aren’t exactly how we expected them to be. Fear not, though, I’m here to quell all your worries and let you know how our first semester went.

Yo! This is Who I Am: Kevin Charles Keizuchi of The Shinsei Movement

By
Kevin Charles Keizuchi
I
January 18, 2024

If information is power, then shouldn’t we all strive for all the people in our community to feel powerful? 

Finding Home Everywhere

By
Meili Britton
I
January 12, 2024

As the daughter of a U.S. diplomat, I’ve never lived in any country longer than four years, my entire family packing up our lives and transplanting ourselves into a new culture any time my father’s job called for it. After years of trying to find home, I now balance many cultures and practices into a unique and ever-changing identity in search of peace and community.

Survive This Winter The Japanese Way!

By
Nicole Sato
I
December 19, 2023

How to survive winter, Japanese style

Okaeri 2023: A Beautiful and Transformative Conference

By
Jasmine Kono-Song
I
December 18, 2023

I was honored to be part of such a large gathering of queer and trans Nikkei. My feelings of shame were replaced with pride, as I heard Japanese Americans of different sexualities, genders, and generations share their stories.

Meet Lisa Aihara, Illustrator of “One Musubi For Me: Counting Things Japanese”

By
Nicole Oshima
I
December 10, 2023

We sat down with Lisa and her daughter Millie to let you in on who Lisa Aihara really is, and talk about her new book, "One Musubi For Me: Counting Things Japanese."

Nikkei Community Activities Directory

By
Kyle Okazaki
I
December 7, 2023

Looking for activities to do in Nikkei Communities? Check out our directory now!

Introducing the Latest Major Initiative from Yo! - the Yo! Accelerator

By
Craig Ishii
I
November 29, 2023

Introducing Yo! Accelerator - uniting and empowering builders and creators, driving innovation and lasting community impact.

Japanese Nonfluency

By
Kyle Okazaki
I
November 15, 2023

Coming to terms with knowing Spanish better than Japanese was embarrassing yet indicative of the uniqueness of Japanese American culture.

Dear Tatami

By
Nicole Sato
I
November 15, 2023

My love letter to the best flooring in the world. But it's also so much more.

"Blue Eye Samurai" creators hope viewers can appreciate Japanese culture in Netflix’s newest adult animated series

By
Nicole Oshima
I
November 8, 2023

The series, which premiered on Netflix on November 3rd and stars PEN15's Maya Erskine, is the story of a mixed-race, female sword master’s revenge set in Edo-period Japan.

Ghibli's Oppenheimer

By
Kyle Okazaki
I
October 30, 2023

Ghibli's "The Wind Rises" explores themes similar to that of Nolan's "Oppenheimer" that have influenced by engineering career.

Our Legacy: How I Created a Family Photo Archive

By
Justin Kawaguchi
I
October 27, 2023

So you’re looking to process that box of old photos in the back of your baachan’s closet? You’ve come to the right place.

My Intersectional Identity

By
Alicia Tan
I
October 21, 2023

Starting university and exploring student organizations prompted me to ask myself some questions about who I am. How do I piece together the parts of my identity?

What It's Like Traveling To Japan on Zipair, JAL's All New LCC

By
Nicole Sato
I
October 17, 2023

Have you been on Zipair? Here are the knows to survive the new Japanese LCC!

Using a Weekly Planner to Record My Kids' Funny Antics

By
Lisa Aihara
I
October 15, 2023

Using a weekly planner to catch all the moments I don't want to forget about my kids

Dina’s Guide to Surviving Graduate School Applications

By
Dina Furumoto
I
October 13, 2023

Graduate school can be a daunting journey filled with imposter syndrome and self-doubt, but it can also be an exciting next step that can open many new doors and opportunities. To help ease the burden, here are a few tips that I’d like to share to those considering graduate school.