Gil Asakawa is the author of Being Japanese American (Stone Bridge Press, 2004) and co-author of The Toy Book (Knopf, 1991). He is a nationally-known speaker and commentator on Japanese American and Asian American identity and issues. He writes a blog, Nikkeiview.com, about pop culture and politics from an Asian American perspective. He also tweets, spends too much time on Facebook, and is a member of every social site and service he hears about.
Holly Thompson writes for children through adults and is the author of the novel Ash (Stone Bridge Press), the young adult verse novel Orchards (Delacorte/Random House), and the picture book The Wakame Gatherers (Shen's Books). Longtime resident of Japan, she serves as Regional Advisor for the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and teaches creative and academic writing at Yokohama City University.
Stevens' Aikido rank is 7th dan Aikikai.
She has written about Japan for such publications as Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her popular “Cool Words” column was a regular feature at the Asahi Weekly from 2006 to 2009. The New York Times Book Review praised her “very graceful, erudite” writing style and her poetry has won several awards.
Ms. Cherry’s talent for analyzing language trends led to her first book, Womansword: What Japanese Words Say About Women, originally published by Kodansha International in 1987. She went on to write six more books, including Art That Dares, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in 2007.
Her specialties include writing about women’s issues, language, culture, religion, LGBTQ issues, and communication. Ms. Cherry’s books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, German, and Polish.
A native of Iowa, she has bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art history from the University of Iowa, and a master’s degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. Ms. Cherry and her spouse, Audrey Lockwood, live in Los Angeles.
Larry and Qin Herzberg are Chinese language and culture professors at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Since 1984, Larry has taught first- through fourth-year Chinese language courses, as well as several courses on Chinese culture and society. In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, the highest honor that Calvin College bestows on a faculty member. Larry has visited mainland China numerous times over the past twenty-five years, most recently with twelve of his students on a study tour during the summer of 2007. He is also a full-time violinist with the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Qin grew up in Beijing and has contributed to numerous Chinese magazines, including Marriage and the Family and China Educator's Journal, and to World Journal, America's leading Chinese newspaper.
Leza Lowitz is an accidental global citizen--bicultural mother, modern yogini, and multi-genre author of over seventeen books. She has received the APALA Award in Young Adult Literature, the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission Award, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Poetry, a Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a California Arts Council Individual Fellowship in Poetry, a National Endowment for the Humanities Independent Scholar Fellowship, and the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.
Poet, travel writer, novelist and teacher Linda Watanabe McFerrin is a contributor to numerous journals, newspapers, magazines, anthologies and online publications including the San Francisco Examiner, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Modern Bride, Travelers' Tales, Salon.com, and Women.com. She is the author of two poetry collections and the editor of the 4th edition of Best Places Northern California.
illuminating prose. Hidden Buddhas: A Novel of Karma and Chaos is her first book with Stone Bridge Press. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Marc Peter Keane lived in Japan for 20 years, designing gardens for individuals, companies, and temples. He has written 3 other books on Japanese garden design. He is affiliated with the Research Center for Japanese Garden Art at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, the East Asian Program at Cornell University, and the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies at Columbia University.
Michael Rowley is the author of Kanji Pictographics, Kana Pictographix, and Michael Rowley's KanjiPictoGraphix Dragon
Pack. He runs Papernapkin.com, a creative studio for design, illustration, and photography. He is a best-selling author of visual books for understanding complex subjects about chemistry, Japanese, and geography. His latest project is the iPhone app Kanji PictoCards for the iTunes store.
Patrick Drazen has lectured on Japanese popular culture at the University of Chicago and Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he earned a Masters of Arts degree and worked as an announcer for WSIU-FM. He has been published in Channels of Communication and the Journal of Popular Culture. He and his wife live in Chicago.
Formerly fiction editor of Being A Broad, a magazine for foreign women living in Japan, Suzanne Kamata now serves as fiction editor for the popular e-zine Literary Mama, and edits and publishes the literary magazine Yomimono. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a special mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/Wingspan Fiction Contest.
Wes "Scoop" Nisker is a Buddhist meditation teacher, author and performer. His books include the newly edited version of his national bestseller, Essential Crazy Wisdom (Ten Speed Press), The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom (Harper San Francisco), Buddha's Nature (Bantam), and his most recent book Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again! (Stone Bridge Press). Mr. Nisker is also the founder and co-editor of the international Buddhist journal Inquiring Mind.