July 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
• Editor's Message • Events • My Family Experience and the Congressional Gold Medal for Chinese American WWII Service • Abunai! Abunai! Dangerous! • Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello Everyone,

Hope you’re having a good summer.

As part of your summer reading enjoyment, we’re featuring folktales for our July newsletter book selection. Have a look. Oh, I also included a book on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (Listen to an interview with the author Roy Tomizawa).

Congratulations to all the Asian and Pacific Islander Americans that are trying their best at the Tokyo Olympics.


I heard an interesting radio program the other day on the World Affairs program on KQED. It is titled “When Your Country Doesn’t Trust You” and is about the anti-Asian hate crimes in America, both present and in the past. They had author Helen Zia talking about Vincent Chin and other things. Have a listen.


The other day we lost poet and community organizers Janice Mirikitani (her latest poetry book was “Out of the Dust”). We always wanted to have her do a poetry event with us, but we could never get our schedules coordinated.


We also lost another supporter of AACP this month - Florence Hongo’s sister Lillia Yamada. I’ll remember the times we saw her and her husband John at events, and had their help. We’ll miss you.


Thank you Frances Kakugawa for providing us with your article and for informing us of your new children’s book (the 5th book in the Wordsworth the poet series) that will be coming out later this year (we’ll be sure to feature it when it comes out).

For all of you reading this, you have an open invitation to submit your works to us. We’d be happy to consider your piece for our newsletter.


Thanks Philip, for your article “My Family Experience and the Congressional Gold Medal for Chinese American World War II Service.” It was interesting to read about your father’s contribution to the American experience.

Take care everyone. We’re not out of the woods regarding the COVID pandemic. Please get vaccinated, help other’s get vaccinated, and mask up.


Leonard Chan

Executive Editor


Aug 15 & 16, 11am-3pm: Pistahan Virtual Parade & Festival

If you have an event that you would like us to mention and or to participate in, please feel free to let us know.

My Family Experience and the Congressional Gold Medal for Chinese American World War II Service

By Philip Chin

I deliberately decided not to name my father in this piece, because I felt he would have wanted his story, and the story of my family, while unique in itself, to be part of the greater story of what Chinese Americans faced in American history.

On July 4th, I received the Congressional Gold Medal that honored my late father’s World War II service at a ceremony held in San Francisco’s Chinatown. This special award is the highest civilian honor granted by the Congress of the United States. As I sat in the audience I listened to speech after speech talking about how the Chinese, about 20,000 of them, voluntarily fought for a country that didn’t want or accept them. A country that in fact only repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943 out of fear that Japanese propaganda would use such evidence of America’s anti-Asian laws and sentiments to convince China to come to a separate peace.

I had very mixed feelings as I listened, as I knew so much of Chinese American history, and of my own family history, had been touched by American racism. All it took was seeing the numerous surgical masks among audience members to remind me of accusations of the “Chinese virus” and the physical and verbal attacks that have resulted since 2020.

Read More

Abunai! Abunai!


By Frances Kakugawa

Do you ever wonder about all those “other roads” you have not traveled? There are three I can think of among the many.

During those years as a classroom teacher, I spent my summers away from Hawaii, knowing I needed to return to the students, refreshed with new experiences. One summer I sent a letter to a huge ranch in Nebraska, offering to be their summer cook.

Read More

Featured Books

View full descriptions of all these featured books at Bookshop.org where you'll also have the opportunity to purchase them.

Children's Folk Tales

Folk Tales and Fantasies