A friend invited me to join her at the one night showing of George Takei’s Broadway Musical on the Big Screen, Allegiance.  The theater here in Denver was packed and sold out.

Based on the experiences of George Takei and his family’s internment in a concentration camp when he was 5 years old.  120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes and imprisoned in these camps after Pearl Harbor. Watching this production was a sobering experience.  I kept imagining my parents living through this.

My parents shared little of their experiences as a United States Army soldier and his wife who was imprisoned even though she was married to a soldier.  What they did share I now realize was pretty sugar coated.

As we were leaving the theater another attendee, a Caucasian woman, turned to me with a pained expression.  She said that she never learned about this in school and was unaware that this even happened until she met and heard about the camps from a Japanese family.

Ditto.  An important part of history that I may only know about because my parents actually lived through it!


The Phone Booth Otsuchi Japan

The ‘Wind Phone’ (kaze no denwa). Image from Mikinee.
The ‘Wind Phone’ (kaze no denwa). Image from Mikinee.

Itaru Sasaki who lives in Otsuchi Japan installed this booth a year before the 2011 tsunami disaster.  He had just lost his cousin and was looking for a way to talk to him about his grief.  Otsuchi still has 421 missing, lost in the 2011 tsunami.

The phone is not connected but people, entire families, come to speak to their missing or deceased loved ones.

Listen to this moving story from NPR This American Life, the phone booth is the first part of this segment 597: One Last Thing Before I Go narrated by Miki Meeks.

Osaka Ramen



And a beverage to enjoy with our Ramen? Infinite  Monkey Theorem Pear Cider from Denver.  Not too sweet and thoroughly enjoyable.

Yup a great meal and we’ll be back. Bento Boxes!

Extreme Dessert My Wife’s Donuts from Osaka Ramen


Thrift Store Rescue and Henry #1


This book was rescued from the thrift store.  It has brought back memories of the stories my Mom used to tell about her family losing everything.  Possessions  and farm.  And her journey to and life in an internment camp.  My friend Masami Nonaka has also shared his memories of camp as a small child here.


The main character is Henry and I just realized that one of the main characters in this crazy Netflix series I am watching is also named Henry.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I have been looking at litters of rescue puppies and have a feeling I found my puppy name!


This is a picture from the book.  Each family was assigned a number and each member of the family wore a tag until they reached the internment camp.


Ohayo Gozaimasu! Good Morning!


Watashi wa Akazaru.

I am Red Monkey.  Born this month in the Year of the Red Fire Monkey which occurs once every 60 years.

I now live with Sanseilife who was born in the Year of the Red Fire Monkey 60 years ago.

Although I am a trickster, I take my duties in my new home seriously.  I will defend my family against disease and demons using my natural desire to protect and my clever wit to outsmart all evil.

My best friends are the Sanzaru.  Speak No Evil – Iwazaru,  Hear No Evil – Kikazaru, and See No Evil – Mizaru.


Here is good natured Mizaru.  Hontoni kawaii ne? (Really cute huh?)




Chigiri-e Art From Hina Matsuri Festival


This wonderful example of Chigiri-e art was displayed at a recent Hina Matsuri festival and is amazing.

Created from pieces of handmade paper. The paper is so delicate, even more delicate than tissue paper.

The artist is extremely talented and practices many different forms of Japanese art.

I have been enjoying her art displays at the festival for years and did not realize she was the artist for all the different forms of art she practices.

Her soul is even more amazing than her art and both she and her art are true inspirations.


Lion Cub Doll from Hina Matsuri Festival


Renjishi, the Kabuki dance of the shishi father and son (mythical lion-like animal).

As with many cultures regarding lions the myth of the shishi is that this animal is the king of beasts.  Note the peonies on his costume.  The shishi is also king of flowers!

The father shishi has white hair.  This doll with its red hair represents the lion cub.

The shishi cub must be trained and it is the father’s duty to train the cub to be fearless.  The shishi father must test his cub to see if he has trained him to be a strong and brave shishi.  The father kicks his cub over the edge of a cliff and the cub showing extreme strength and courage triumphantly climbs its way to safety.

Perhaps other cubs before it were not able to make it to the top and thus the father’s anxiety waiting for his cub to appear.

What a wonderful experience to watch a story unfold, even knowing the outcome you are still rooting for that shishi cub!