October 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
• Editor's Message • Events • A Japanese American Thanksgiving: Part 5 of AACP's Comfort Food Series • Sing Lau Kee: Forgotten Hero of World War I • Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello AACP Newsletter Readers.

Happy Halloween!

At the time that I am writing this, things are starting to seem a little more normal. People are getting out and making plans for the Halloween weekend. Some may be watching the World Series, weekend football games, or scary movies. In the news you may be following protesters refusing to follow vaccine mandates or parents fearful of what masks are doing to their children. I just heard a warning in the news of a possible terrorist attack in the US.

Do you want to know what’s truly scary? 36,499 Americans have died in the month of October (CDC data from Oct. 1 to 28; more than 7600 in just the last week) from a virus, COVID-19, and there is so little news of this. If we had two 747s and one 737 crash every day for four weeks, 85 Columbine shootings every day for the same time period, or a terrorist attack at a sporting event that killed an equivalent amount of people, what do you think the reaction would be?

School shootings and terrorist attacks may be a little hard to prevent, but nearly all 36,499 deaths could have been averted with a simple vaccination and the wearing of masks.

How can people be more afraid of terrorist, shooters, or migrants coming over the borders, than from dying from a horrible breathe robbing disease like COVID? Why is fighting for your individual right to not get vaccinated and not wear masks more important than protecting the right for hundreds of thousands of people to live? The 741,566 Americans that died from COVID (as of Oct. 29, 2021) will never experience any freedoms again.

When this Thanksgiving comes around and you’re alive, be thankful that 77.8% (hopefully more by then) of the people (12 and up) chose to get vaccinated, that we have medical workers that fight to keep people that catch COVID from dying, and that we have vaccines and masks to protect ourselves and others.

I apologize for being so preachy, but I wasn’t hearing this in the media.

On to our newsletter.


This month we have a special article from Florence Hongo on her Japanese American memories of Thanksgiving and making inari sushi.

If you have an interesting Asian and Pacific Islander American Thanksgiving story, particularly humorous dinners that didn’t go as planned, please share them with us and maybe we’ll include it in our next newsletter.

For our second article, we present an Asian American hero from World War I. Happy Veterans Day to all you vets. Thank you so much for your service to this country.

In honor of Thanksgiving, all of our featured books for the month have something to do with either Asian and Pacific Islander food culture or cooking. Check it out.


Hey, November is National Novel Writing Month.

Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Do you have all sorts of reasons for not getting started? Just reserve a couple of hours each day this coming month and type like mad. Forgo some time watching TV, playing games, or wasting time on your smart phone for just one month. Don’t think about whether it’s good or bad. Just get started. All you need to do is write 50,000 words to be considered a finisher. That’s less than 2000 words a day. I’ve done it four times. If I can do it, so can you.


Thank you to Florence, Philip, and Susan for your help with this month’s newsletter.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Take care everyone.

Leonard Chan

Executive Editor


No events are planned for November.


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

A Japanese American Thanksgiving

Part 5 of AACP's Comfort Food Series

By Florence Makita Hongo

We Asians in America celebrate holidays in so many different ways. Our celebrations are a true blend of our cultures. I thought it might be interesting to tell how the Makita family celebrated our holidays. Our family is Japanese Methodist. So we celebrated all of the Christian and American holidays including Thanksgiving. We are a mixture of Japanese ways and American ways.

Our family lived on a small ranch (18 acres) and house in Delhi, California. There were nine of us in the family, which grew by leaps and bounds with marriages, and the ensuing grandchildren. Mother was always in pursuit of family gatherings...

Read More

Sing Lau Kee

Forgotten Hero of World War I

By Philip Chin

Sing Lau Kee should be remembered as a great American hero today, but his legacy as a war hero of World War I became mired in discriminatory United States immigration policies.

Sing Kee was born in 1896 in Saratoga, California. His father operated a store and labor contract business in Saratoga and later lived in San Jose. Sing Kee was educated in American schools in Oakland.

By 1917 he enlisted into the United States Army and, because he was living in New York at that time, was assigned to the 306th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Infantry Division. The division was mainly made up of New York City draftees, thus their official unit name was the "Statue of Liberty Division" and even had a patch insignia of the famous icon. Unofficially they were known as the "Cosmopolitans" because they were a polyglot of nationalities and languages with many first generation immigrants from Western, Eastern, and Southern Europe mixed in with Irish and German Americans of several American generations and every other nationality that had immigrated to New York City.

The 77th Infantry Division arrived in France in April 1918...

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.

Food Culture Children's Books

Special Cookbook Selection