As we head into the holiday (i.e. shopping) season, some of you are no doubt wracking your brains, wondering what to give that special someone on your list. An iPhone? already have one . . . Snow tires? too practical . . . Trip to Hawaii? too hot & sandy . . . Starbucks Gift Card? c’mon, I said special someone . . .
Have no fear, the December 2010 Bulletin is here with some culturally-specific gift suggestions embedded right into our feature articles. Think of it as product placement in print.
For the hapa on your list (and who doesn’t have at least one in their family?) how about a copy of Jeff Chiba Stearn’s newest documentary, One Big Hapa Family, a look at intermarriage through both live action and animation. It’s beautifully done and is sure to spark lively discussion within the family. And that’s a good thing!
For the environmentalist on your list (or anyone who cares about the world we live in), there’s David Suzuki’s newest book, The Legacy, an elder’s vision for our sustainable future. Those who heard Dr. Suzuki speak at the Nikkei Place Tenth Anniversary Gala Dinner know that he is a powerful speaker and this book is based on a lecture he gave a year ago at UBC. Now in his mid-seventies (hence the “elder” in the title), Suzuki uses the lecture/book to share what he has learned over his career as a scientist, environmentalist and educator. It’s compelling reading.
If there’s a young adult on your gift-giving list who enjoys fantasy novels (and who doesn’t?), they’re sure to enjoy Half World, the latest novel from Hiromi Goto, the author of Chorus of Mushrooms (among others). Goto is a masterful storyteller and this book, which takes place in a fantastical world beyond our own, is beautifully written. Marketed for young adults, it’s great reading for anyone over the age of 13.
Lastly, for the historian or fisherman (or woman) on your list, there’s Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet, BC’s Japanese Canadian Fishermen. Yes, it came out in 2009 (as did Half World) but it just won the English language category of the 2010 Canada-Japan Literary Awards and is worth revisiting. Authors Mas Fukawa and Stan Fukawa, together with the Nikkei Fishermen’s History Book Committee have put together a fine history of Nikkei fishermen that goes back 130 years. If they’ve been really good, why not throw in the companion book, Nikkei Fishermen on the BC Coast: Their Biographies and Photographs.
Well, enough crass commercialism! As the year draws to a close, I’d like to send out my best wishes to all our readers, advertisers and monthly contributors. Special thanks to Alexis Rae Wakumi Seyforth who for the past number of years has drawn Wakumi’s World, our monthly comic. Alexis is immersed in her university studies, so is retiring from the world of cartooning. I wish her all the best in her studies.
Happy New Year and best of the season to you all! See you in 2011.