July 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
• Editor's Message • Events • Goodbye Wing Fat • A Barefoot Boy From Hilo: Manages the California Flower Market (Part of the Mas Hongo Interview Series) • Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello AACP Newsletter Readers.

I hope you’re having a good and safe summer.

Since our last newsletter we were able to see some of you at the San Jose Obon and Zephyr Point Lake Tahoe Fellowship Retreat. It was great to see you all, especially a couple of the old friends of the organization.

I was reminded of the purpose of the Obon Festival (an honoring and remembrance of departed loved ones and ancestors) by one of these dear friends who had lost a son during the pandemic. He and his wife were there to dance in honor of their son.

I was asked by a reporter at the San Jose Obon for a one word description of the event and the only thing I could think of was “beautiful.”

I stumbled on my explanation on what I had meant by this – perhaps I wasn’t quite sure at that time – but in its entirety, it was quite fitting. Obons are a wonderful family celebration and custom that allows us to reflect and contemplate our past.

When I first started going to Obons, I didn’t realize that it was similar to what I had been practicing with my Chinese family all my life (Zhongyuan Festival). Each summer we would have a family reunion to visit the cemeteries in my dad’s home town of Oroville. I didn’t realize the religious connections at the time, but I finally figured out that Obons and my family’s summer practice were both connected by Buddhism. I like to say that we were culturally Buddhist without knowing the philosophy of the religion.

With the latest images coming from the James Webb telescope, which can peer at galaxies as far away as 13 billion years ago, I was reminded about the shortness our stay here on Earth. We’re like the beautiful sand mandalas created and then deconstructed by Buddhist monks to symbolize our physical impermanence.

Whether or not you believe in spiritual permanence, an afterlife, or reincarnation, perhaps we can take comfort in knowing that we will continue on among the stars billions of years from now in the form of star dust.

Until then, enjoy the beauty of the now.


For our first article, Goodbye Wing Fat, it’s a telling of the impermanence of neighborhoods, AACP’s neighborhood in particular.

In our second article we continue the Mas Hongo interview series with his experience of managing the California Flower Market in San Francisco. Even within this article, you’ll read about the transitory nature of businesses.


This month’s books selection is kind of a continuation of our summer reading selection from last month. We’ve include some original children’s stories and some memoirs this time (along with our young adult books and novels). We hope you take a closer look and read some of them. If not these, please find something to read for enjoyment and enrichment.


Author friend Phuoc Tran has updated me of on her activities. She’s been selected the Blue Ribbon Author at the Minnesota State Fair/Alphabet Forest and will be participating in the greet and meet author day on August 27. She will also be at the Orange County Children's Book Festival on October 2. Here’s a link to that event’s World Stories & Adventure Stage presenters video preview (hey, author friends Tri Tran and Tram Le also have a video there).

Thank you Frances Kakugawa and others that are sending me information about their books, book projects, reviews of books, review copies of their books, and selections of their writings. Please keep it up. I hope to include information on what you send me in future articles. I apologize in advance for not getting to what you shared with me sooner.

Thank you to Philip (Chin), Susan (Tanioka), and Mina (Harada Eimon) for your continued contributions to our newsletter.

Continue to mask up in crowds, get vaccinated, and take care.


Leonard Chan

Executive Editor


August 3-7: 2022 JACL National Convention

Bally's Las Vegas, NV


August 4-6: OCA's 2022 National Convention

Bally's Las Vegas, NV


September 10, 11am-4:30pm: San Leandro Moon Festival (we'll be there)

San Leandro Main Library, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA


September 10: 4th Annual Bay Area Chuseok Festival

The Presidio, San Francisco, CA


October 2, 10:30am-4:30pm: 17th Annual Millbrae Japanese Culture Festival (we'll be there)

Civic Center Plaza, 1 Library Lane, Millbrae, CA


October 2: Orange County Children's Book Festival

Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA


October 21-22: Poston Pilgrimage

Parker, AZ

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

Goodbye Wing Fat

By Leonard Chan

Not long ago, I picked up the picture book “Everything Naomi Loved” and it instantly reminded me of what was happening in the neighborhood that surrounds the AACP bookstore.

In this book Naomi’s beloved neighborhood is going through a change as people move out and buildings come down in the push for progress.

Today (July 24, 2022) I bought my last meal from Wing Fat, the Chinese restaurant across the street from us.

As the characters in “Everything Naomi Loved” would often say “Things Change.”

They certainly do.

Read More

A Barefoot Boy From Hilo

Manages the California Flower Market

(Part of the Mas Hongo Interview Series)

Interviewed by Leonard Chan (L) and Susan Tanioka (S)

Additional participant Florence Hongo (F)

With transcriptions by Mina Harada Eimon

Edited by Leonard Chan

This is a continuation of the Mas Hongo interview series.

When we last left off (see June’s newsletter), Mas’ flower growing and selling experience in Hawaii was coming to an end. Part of the last interview also contained his ventures on selling to the mainland flower markets.

We now pickup with his experience as the manager of the flower market in San Francisco.

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 Books

Early Chapter and Young Adult Books

General Literature Novels

General Literature Memoirs