Yuri Kochiyama & Tempt One Featured in Amerasia 40.3

AJ40.3coverThe latest issue of Amerasia Journal brings the stories of two powerful people to our readers.  The first is a 32-page tribute to the late Yuri Kochiyama, who passed away in June of 2014.  A collection of remembrances from three generations of family members (tributes that were given at her three memorials spanning August to the end of September), along with notable writers & a filmmaker who have been influenced by Kochiyama—Karen Tei Yamashita, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Renee Tajima-Peña, and Diane Fujino—make up this tribute section, including a vintage location shot from the making of the documentary My America, or Honk if You Love Buddha.

That being said, the cover images of this issue point to a second powerful story about L.A. graffiti artist Tempt One who has been diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for 12 years, and has been stricken with paralysis for most of those years.  It was an artistic decision on my part to put Tempt One’s work on the cover because it really needs to be seen in color.  Ben Higa’s article “Tempt” highlights Tempt’s impact on the L.A. graffiti and art scene, and also documents the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the local hip hop culture.  The UCLA AASCPress has donated 50 copies of this issue to the Tempt One ALS Foundation, to help raise funds for Tempt’s continued 24-hour care.  Tempt One’s story is one of amazing perseverance to keep on keeping on and expressing himself, now through an eye writer, that was developed to help him (and since, others like him) communicate with the world.

I’ve posted some photos of our visit with Tempt One.  Ben Higa organized the visit, which included Jose “DJ Dwenz” Buktaw, Ben, and my husband and I.  Ben hadn’t seen Tempt for eight years and Jose for 11 years.  So it was a long overdue reunion that we were honored to be a part.  Tempt’s dad, Ron Quan, joined us and Tempt’s hospital room was quite cozy—us four visitors, Ron Quan, and Tempt’s day nurse Keyasia, who took the picture of the six of us.

It was mystifying to see Tempt typing his communication with us using his eye movements to hit letters on a computer screen and then hearing a computer voice speaking his words.  I didn’t realize at first that it was him talking to us through the computer, peppered with lots of “haha’s.” As Ben showed him the issue with Tempt’s self-portrait prominently on the cover, Tempt humbly said that Yuri should have been on the cover.

Ben Higa shows Tempt the Amerasia cover with Tempt's self portrait.

Ben Higa shows Tempt the Amerasia cover with Tempt’s self portrait.

It was an inspiring moment to meet this street artist who has the heart of a warrior. His struggle to keep communicating and expressing himself despite his physical paralysis just makes you stop and try to imagine the incomprehensible. His story has inspired a documentary, as well as the invention of the eyewriter, and now with Ben Higa’s article in Amerasia, has opened up a peek for us into Tempt’s impact in the graffiti world.

If you would like to help, you can make donations to Tempt through Paypal or by sending a check—

Checks can be made payable to:

Tempt One ALS Foundation
P.O. Box 206
5280 Beverly Blvd. Suite C
Los Angeles CA, 90022

Paypal donations can be made at:

http://temptone.wordpress.com/foundation/

All donations are tax deductible and go directly towards Tempt’s immediate care as well as others suffering from this terrible disease.

To learn more about Tempt One—

from lower left clockwise:  Ron Quan (Tempt's dad), John and Mary Kao, Tempt, Jose "DJ Dwenz" Buktaw, and Ben Higa.

from lower left clockwise: Ron Quan (Tempt’s dad), John and Mary Kao, Tempt, Jose “DJ Dwenz” Buktaw, and Ben Higa.

http://temptone.wordpress.com/bio/

http://gettingup-thedoc.com/

http://www.eyewriter.org/

Tempt One with his dad, Ron Quan.

Tempt One with his dad, Ron Quan.

"7 Samurai from the Far Eastside" rooftop mural for the DADA 1997 annual art show.  Mural features street artists SLICK, TEMPT, HYDE, RELIC, DUKE, PRIME, and SKEPT with calligraphic graffiti by Chaz Bojórquez. Photograph by Ben Higa

“7 Samurai from the Far Eastside” rooftop mural for the DADA 1997 annual art show. Mural features street artists SLICK, TEMPT, HYDE, RELIC, DUKE, PRIME, and SKEPT with calligraphic graffiti by Chaz Bojórquez.
Photograph by Ben Higa

Amerasia Journal pays tribute to Yuri Kochiyama, features work of graffiti artist Tempt One

AJ40.3coverThe latest open-topic issue of Amerasia Journal highlights our longstanding commitments to the Asian American community, with a tribute to Yuri Kochiyama and a spotlight on renowned graffiti artist Tempt One.  To commemorate the passing of Yuri Kochiyama—one of the true giants of Asian America—Amerasia‘s own Mary Uyematsu Kao compiled tributes from those who knew the pioneering political activist the best, from family members, kindred spirits, and faithful followers.  We hear the remembrances of three generations of Yuri Kochiyama’s immediate family, as well as thoughts on her politics and life from Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Diane Fujino, Renee Tajima-Peña, and Karen Tei Yamashita.

Amerasia Journal Issue 40:3 presents the work of Tempt One, an influential artist in the hip-hop community who has continued to create art after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) over a decade ago.  Along with journalist Ben Higa‘s brief history of his friend’s significance to graffiti art in Los Angeles and beyond, we include a brief portfolio of Tempt’s work and reprint a first-person account from the artist himself, composed through specially designed software that allows him to type with his eyes.

Amerasia is also pleased to publish the winning essay for the 2013-2014 Lucie Cheng Prize for outstanding graduate student research by Jungha Kim, titled “‘I’m Still at War with Myself': Transnational Adoption and Endless Labor in Jane Jeong Trenka’s Fugitive Visions“; a recent Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Jungha Kim was nominated for the award by her advisor, Professor Josephine Park.  The prize is named after the late Professor Lucie Cheng, former director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (1972-1987).

Rounding out the issue is new research on the subversive use of humor in Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660 by Stella Oh (Loyola Marymount University) and E. San Juan, Jr.‘s exploration of the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines as recounted in Benjamin Appel’s 1951 novel, Fortress in the Rice.  The issue also includes book reviews of recent titles in Asian American Studies, featuring Robert Ku’s Dubious Gastronomy and Hoang Tan Nguyen’s A View from the Bottom.

Published by UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center since 1971, Amerasia Journal is regarded as the core journal in the field of Asian American Studies.

ORDERING INFORMATION: Purchase online via the AASC Press Store. Copies of the issue can also be ordered via phone, email, or mail. Each issue of Amerasia Journal costs $15.00 plus shipping/handling and applicable sales tax. Please contact the Center Press for detailed ordering information.

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press
3230 Campbell Hall | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
Phone: 310-825-2968 | Email: aascpress@aasc.ucla.edu
Blog: http://www.amerasiajournal.org/blog/  |  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmerasiaJournal
Amerasia Journal is published three times a year: Spring, Summer/Fall, and Winter. Annual subscriptions for Amerasia Journal are $99.00 for individuals and $445.00 for libraries and other institutions. Instructors interested in this issue for classroom use should
contact the above email address to request a review copy.

View as a PDF (AJ 40_3_Release).

AASC Winter Colloquium will feature Margaret Rhee

rhee

Oakland, L.A., & New York Memorials for Yuri Kochiyama

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Poster of Yuri Nakahara from high school, where she covered San Pedro High’s sport events for the San Pedro News Pilot as an unpaid reporter.

Two Yuri Kochiyama Memorials during Black August

It is symbolic that two Yuri Kochiyama Celebrations-of-Life took place during the month of August. August was designated “Black August” in the early 1970s in honor of the fallen Black freedom fighters who sparked the revolutionary prison movement. Honoring Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden, Black August has grown to commemorate Nat Turner’s slave rebellion of 1831, the birth of the Underground Railroad in 1850, the March on Washington in 1965, the birth month of Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton, and Mutulu Shakur, and the month that WEB DuBois passed away, just to name a few. The significance of two Yuri Kochiyama memorials occurring during Black August speaks to the mainstay of her lifelong activism—U.S. political prisoners, especially African Americans.

On August 3, Oakland’s Scottish Rite Auditorium was the site of Yuri’s first Celebration of Life, as she spent the remaining years of her life in Oakland. 700 people, including family, friends, and her countless admirers, gathered for a two-hour program emceed by Warren Furutani. Some of the main highlights of the program were her son Eddie Kochiyama, who shared what it was like growing up with Yuri, Charlie Chin sang “Song for Aichi,” Nobuko Miyamoto read an impassioned letter from Mutulu Shakur (prison inmate for 28 years, world reknown for his successful use of acupuncture for drug detoxification), Somei Yoshino Taiko, dance, clips from three films that featured Yuri, and her New York great grandchildren—Leilani, Malia, Kenji, and Kai. Angela Davis’ tribute recounted what Yuri has meant to U.S. political prisoners, detailing Yuri’s personal qualities that have distinguished her as a life-long activist. Heartfelt tributes and remembrances from Karl Jagbandhansingh, Greg Morozumi, Peggy Saika, and Arisika Razak along with a jazz group featuring Kim Nalley on vocals singing “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” and a jazz/taiko number “Forever Yuri Blues” (Akira Tana, Bob Kenmotsu, Mark Izu, Tammy Lynne Hall, and Kenny Endo). Oakland bid farewell to Yuri with renewed inspiration to continue the never-ending work for social justice.

On August 31, the Aratani Theater of the JACCC (Japanese American Cultural and Community Center) was the site of LA’s celebration of life for Yuri. About 500 people gathered, including Yuri’s San Pedro relatives. Emceed again by Warren Furutani, LA’s program featured Aiko Yoshinaga-Herzig and Bibi Angola who gave remembrances of their many years of friendship and activism with Yuri in New York City. Musical tributes by Maceo Hernandez and ELA Taiko, Scott Nagatani and friends, Nobuko Miyamoto and friends, and June Kuramoto; Tracy Kato-Kiriyama gave a spoken word tribute, a video by Tad Nakamura featuring the Blue Scholars “I Wanna Be Like Yuri Kochiyama,” and a touching grandchildren statement given by Ryan Kochiyama. Eddie K. opened the program and Tommy K. gave the closing remarks.

The First Corinthian Baptist Church in New York City's Harlem was the site of the final Celebration of Life for Yuri Kochiyama, September 27, 2014.

The First Corinthian Baptist Church in New York City’s Harlem was the site of the final Celebration of Life for Yuri Kochiyama, September 27, 2014.

 

Final Harlem Celebration-of-Life

September 27 was the final farewell celebration-of-life at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Yuri’s beloved Harlem of New York City.  Emceed by Jamal Joseph, Yuri’s two eldest grandchildren Akemi and Zulu opened and closed the program.  A special highlight was the tribute given by Attallah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s first daughter, who recounted seeing Yuri rush to the stage to keep Malcolm’s head from touching the floor, while grown men ran in the other direction.  She was emotionally moved and her tribute signified the strong connection that will forever link the Kochiyama and Shabazz families.

Tomie Arai, Peter Wong, and Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele all gave uplifting remembrances of the role Yuri has played in different communities while an array of performers gave energizing performances (Soh Daiko, Taiyo Na and Magnetic North, Janice Robinson, Pua Ali’i’llima o Nuioka, and Jamal Joseph and Impact Repertory.)  The celebration was especially bittersweet as granddaughter Akemi Kochiyama-Sardinha asked for a moment of silence for Herman Ferguson (longtime Harlem activist), Herman Lew (filmmaker and CCNY professor), and Wayne Lum (David Wong Support Committee), all close friends of Yuri who had passed recently.

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Impact Repertory gave a rousing performance in tribute to Yuri Kochiyama.

All three programs drew out an array of people spanning perhaps five generations that were all touched by Yuri’s life work. Each gathering reunited many folks and deepened the ties to Yuri’s legacy of revolutionary struggle and human rights activism.

 

 

New Amerasia explores production of Asian American culture, politics across media platforms

New media platforms are providing novel avenues of inquiry into what it means to be Asian American. Guest edited by Victor Bascara (UCLA) and Lisa Nakamura (University of Michigan), the latest Amerasia Journal, Issue 40:2 “Asian American Cultural Politics Across Platforms,” is a path-breaking exploration of the relationship between Asian American Studies and the emerging field of platform studies. Covering a wide range of media, from conceptual art to music video, photography to video gaming, “Asian American Cultural Politics Across Platforms” engages the most contemporary forms of cultural representation and how they shape the identities of their consumers and users.

40.2.cover3Prompted by the guest editors’ goal to call attention to “new scholarship in Asian American Studies that takes platforms into consideration” in our post-digital era, the special issue asks how Asian American culture and politics are increasingly shaped by new media across real and virtual environments. Valerie Soe’s contribution examines how three Asian American artists confront ingrained inequalities in the art world, challenging stereotypes of Asian American identity in thought-provoking and provocative ways. Similarly, Warren Liu revisits Tseng Kwong Chi’s Mao suit photography series and reimagines how the iconic images represent Chineseness as a reflection of American and Western anxieties over China.

The special issue goes beyond these art forms and delves into other creative realms. Erin Suzuki interrogates East-West power dynamics in a comparative analysis of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video and Jessica Hagedorn’s novel Dogeaters, as she focuses on how references to pop culture cited in each index a global pecking order on both cultural and economic terms. Takeo Rivera tackles the issue of Orientalist stereotypes as they appear in the best-selling video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution, as he delves into the ambivalence of Asian gamers who might feel both pleasure and trauma in annihilating the game’s virtual Asian bodies. Loan Dao, on the other hand, considers how youth culture and social networking enable political praxis, detailing how Southeast Asian American youth have embraced and engaged with hip hop culture to advocate for immigrant rights.

The special issue marks the passing of civil rights pioneer Yuri Kochiyama with a personal tribute by Mary Uyematsu Kao. Also featured in the issue are a community spotlight on Los Angeles-based media arts institution Visual Communications and reviews of Lucy Burns’s Puro Arte, Stephen Sohn’s Racial Asymmetries, and other recent publications.

Published by UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center since 1971, Amerasia Journal is regarded as the core journal in the field of Asian American Studies.

ORDERING INFORMATION:

You can purchase a copy of the journal online via the AASC Press store at http://commerce.cashnet.com/aasc.

Copies of the issue can also be ordered via phone, email, or mail. Each issue of Amerasia Journal costs $15.00 plus shipping/handling and applicable sales tax. Please contact the Center Press for detailed ordering information.

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press
3230 Campbell Hall | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
Phone: 310-825-2968 | Email: aascpress@aasc.ucla.edu
Blog: http://www.amerasiajournal.org/blog/ | Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmerasiaJournal

Amerasia Journal is published three times a year: Spring, Summer/Fall, and Winter. Annual subscriptions for Amerasia Journal are $99.00 for individuals and $445.00 for libraries and other institutions. Instructors interested in this issue for classroom use should contact the above email address to request a review copy.

August 31, Los Angeles Celebration of Life for Yuri Kochiyama

YuriFlyerLA

Memorials for Yuri Kochiyama in Los Angeles and New York

Please join the Kochiyama Family at the Los Angeles and New York memorials

MEMORIALS FOR YURI KOCHIYAMA:

-LOS ANGELES
August 31, 2014 (Sunday)
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Aratani/ Japan America Theatre
244 South San Pedro Street (bet. 2nd & 3rd Sts.)
Los Angeles, CA 90012

-NEW YORK
September 27, 2014 (Saturday)
5:00 – 7:30 pm
First Corinthian Baptist Church
1912 Adam C. Powell Boulevard
New York, NY 10026

Thank you everyone for all of your support! Feel free to share this post.

https://www.facebook.com/RememberingYuriKochiyama

August 3rd Celebration of the Life of Yuri Kochiyama

eddie

Eddie Kochiyama delivers the family tribute for Yuri Kochiyama.

August 3, 2014 the Scottish Rite Auditorium was the site of the Kochiyama family’s Celebration of Life for their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Yuri Kochiyama.  A heartfelt program of speakers, musicians, poets, and family brought together hundreds of folks whose lives had all been touched and changed by Yuri.  The tribute from Angela Davis is posted on Amerasia’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/AmerasiaJournal?ref=hl

Pre-War Japanese in the San Gabriel Valley

Press Release:
The Pasadena Digital History Collaboration (PDHC) project has acquired a significant Japanese American collection for its free online website.  “This collaboration is between PCC Library, Pasadena City Library, and the Pasadena Museum of History,” said PCC Librarian Linda Stewart.  She continues, “We made a conscious effort to begin to collect artifacts from our rich ethnic history.”
From Meiji Laundry in Pasadena to the San Gabriel Nursery to vegetable farmers in La Puente, Japanese Americans contributed in myriads of ways to the Valley before World War II.  “I was honored to interview 25 Niseis,” said Professor Susie Ling of Pasadena City College.  “The transcripts are in this PDHC collection.  I hope I captured some of the contributions of Fujiko Sakiyama Ishizu who went to Berkeley from Alhambra High in 1936; of Yosh Kuromiya who was one of the Heart Mountain resisters; of Chiye Watanabe who could not bury her hero brother, Joe Hayashi, at Forest Lawn because of racial covenants; and of MIS Sho Nomura who still lives in Sierra Madre.”  The oral history collection also includes community activists like Bacon Sakatani of West Covina, the Ted Tajima of Pasadena, and Paul Tsunieshi formerly of Monrovia.  Ling said, “These Niseis tell the story of their parents, tell the story of their internment, and tell the story of their post-war rebuilding.”
The PDHC collection also includes several Japanese American photograph albums.  PCC’s Stewart said, “We have some photos from the Pasadena Buddhist Temple established in 1948.  The Shodas had a flower shop near our campus on Colorado Boulevard.  Then we were fortunate to have Elsie Osajima share photos of her father, Jiro Morita, one of the founders of the Pasadena Sister-City Committee.”  Sansei poet Amy Uyematsu shared photographs of her grandfather and Professor Joan Takayama-Ogawa opened a treasure chest of photographs of Meiji Laundry of Pasadena.  Stewart continued, “We encourage others to consider depositing their photographs too.”
Pasadena City College is celebrating its 90th anniversary.  “For me,” said Professor Ling, “PCC’s 2010 Nisei Graduation and this PDHC Collection are a way to respect our Japanese pioneers.  Read the transcripts one by one and feel the layers upon layers of legacy.”  The website is pasadenadigitalhistory.com
Triple J Club 1935[5] copy

Pasadena Junior College’s Triple J Club in 1935.

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2014-2015 Lucie Cheng Prize: Call for Nominations

Amerasia Journal invites faculty to nominate exceptional graduate student essays (masters and doctoral level) in the interdisciplinary field of Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies for the 2014-15 Lucie Cheng Prize. The selected article will be published in Amerasia Journal, with a $1,500 prize to be awarded to the winner.

The Lucie Cheng Prize honors the late Professor Lucie Cheng (1939-2010), a longtime faculty member of UCLA and the first permanent director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (1972-1987). Professor Cheng was a pioneering scholar who brought an early and enduring transnational focus to the study of Asian Americans and issues such as labor and immigration.

Submission: Nominations must be submitted via email by the graduate advisor by October 1, 2014, with notification to the winner by the end of the calendar year.  Current students from any graduate program working in Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies are encouraged to send submissions.

Nominations are to include:
1. Graduate Advisor Name, Title, Institution, and Contact Information
2. Graduate Advisor Recommendation (500-word limit)
3. Graduate Student Brief CV (2 pages)
4. Essay (5000-7000 words) in a MS-Word file, formatted according to the Amerasia Journal Style Sheet; for journal style guidelines, see: http://www.amerasiajournal.org/blog/?page_id=42.

Submit materials and queries to ajprize@aasc.ucla.edu and arnoldpan@ucla.edu.