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Being Japanese American

Being Japanese American

A JA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa . . . and Their Friends

A celebration of JA culture: facts, recipes, songs, words, and memories that every JA will want to share.

From immigration to discrimination and internment, and then to reparations and a high rate of intermarriage, Americans of Japanese descent share a long and sometimes painful history, and now fear their unique culture is being lost. 

Gil Asakawa's celebration of what makes JAs so special is an entertaining blend of facts and features, of recipes, songs, and memories that every JA will want to share with friends and family. Included are interviews with famous JAs and a look at how it's hip to be Japanese, from manga to martial arts, plus a section on Japantown communities and tips for JA's scrapbooking their families and traveling to Japan to rediscover their roots.

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7 x 9"




"Being Japanese American is 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."

Midwest Book Review

"Offers a great opportunity for JAs to process their feelings and experiences in relationship to other JAs who, through their stories and photos, share empathy and understanding."

Asian Reporter

"Teens who want to know a little more about contemporary Japanese American culture beyond all the history books about the World War II internment experience will find great information here…"

Voice of Youth Advocates, April 2005 Issue

"A must-read book that will delight you with its humor and amuse you with its insights; for non-Asian, a must-read book if you’re curious about what makes Japanese Americans tick."

John Tateishi, National Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League

"Part history, part photo album, part cultural document, part memoir, part language lesson, even part cookbook, Being Japanese American is an entertaining primer on many aspects of the Japanese American experience."


"A lighthearted view into the unique lingo, idiosyncrasies and nuances of Japanese American life."

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About the Author(s)

Gil Asakawa

Gil Asakawa

The author of Being Japanese American (Stone Bridge Press, 2004) and co-author of The Toy Book (Knopf, 1991).

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