By GEORGE YOSHINAGA
Well at least I can get a little head start on pounding out today’s column.
I was watching the Dodgers game on TV (this being Sunday) and after they fell behind 8-1, I clicked off the set and moved to my computer keyboard.
I guess I’ll stop watching the local baseball club for the rest of the season because the way they are playing, they aren’t going anywhere but to the bottom of the league standings.
To put everyone in a laughing mood, I thought I would open with the following, which was emailed to me from a reader.
It’s about a survey that was supposedly taken recently.
The respondents were asked the following question: Are there too many illegal aliens in the U.S.?
No comprende 61%
Yes, you can laugh.
Yes, I read the obituary section of The Los Angeles Times as regularly as I do its sports section.
In this past Saturday’s edition, there was a half-page story on the passing of Bob Fletcher under the heading “Saved Farms of Interned Japanese Americans.”
As I read his story, I wonder why he was never recognized by the Japanese American community for what he did for the JAs.
The opening paragraph tells about his action when the government ordered all JAs to be removed and placed in internment camps.
I’ll print part of the article:
“Bob Fletcher, who quit his job as a state agricultural inspector during World War II to save the Sacramento farms of interned Japanese American families, died May 23 in Sacramento, his family announced. He was 101 years old.
“A few months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government forced Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japanese descent to report to barbed-wire camps in 1942. Many lost their homes to thieves or bank foreclosures.
“In the face of deep anti-Japanese sentiment — Fletcher was taunted as a ‘Jap lover’ and nearly hit by a bullet fired at a barn — he stepped in to save the farms of the Nitta, Okamoto and Tsukamoto families.
“He worked 90 acres of California table grapes, paid the mortgages and taxes, and took half the profits. He turned over the rest — along with the farms — to the three families when they returned to Sacramento in 1945.
“Whenever you asked him about it, he just said, ‘It was the right thing to do.’ ”
If the foregoing is accurate, it would seem that some group in the JA community would do something to honor Fletcher.
Got an email that read, “Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall seeing your story on the dedication of the City of Carson’s renaming its city council chambers as the ‘Helen Kawagoe Council Chambers,’ which was held last week. Didn’t you attend?”
Yes, since Helen is an old friend, I was there with my wife.
However, at major events such as this, The Rafu always has someone covering, so I was there as just another guest and not as a newspaper person.
Hope that answers your question.
Of course, I want to add my congratulations to Helen.
With over 37 years of service to the City of Carson, she certainly deserves the honor.
And we must remember Helen is the longest-serving elected official in the State of California.
Since the passing of our son Robin, my wife and I have been dining out more frequently, especially for breakfast.
For breakfast, not having to cook is a big relief for my wife.
We have our breakfast at Denny’s, which features a “2-4-6-8 menu.”
That is breakfast priced at $2, $4, $6 and $8.
We order the $8 breakfast and split it between us because it has two pancakes, hash browns, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and two coffees.
That’s about what it costs if she cooks at home with all the foregoing items.
As for lunch and supper, we don’t go out as much as breakfast, but in a city like Gardena, there are also many dining places, especially ethnic foods.
Of course, with the large Japanese and Korean populations in Gardena, there are also many Japanese and Korean eateries.
In addition, there are Thai, Chinese, Mexican and Hawaiian dining places.
Yes, and places that specialize in sushi.
So I guess we can eat out every day and not be restricted to a single type of food.
Yes, I know that ethnic food places do cost a little more than the average American eateries, which is one reason why the Denny’s we go to is usually full of Japanese American diners. Especially on Saturdays and Sundays.
Well, it was bound to happen.
Las Vegas-style casinos opening in Japan.
According to a recent news report, a group of Japanese lawmakers are close to hitting the jackpot in their bid to legalize Vegas-style casinos.
A bill is to be submitted to parliament that if passed would pave the way for a tie-up with big-name firms to build casinos across Japan.
“Japan may be the only developed country without casinos. But we are sprinting to the final line,” said Takeshi Iwaya in an interview.
Talk about opening casinos in Japan has been on the table for years, but a change in government and its declared aim to stoke the limp economy may give an unprecedented impetus to legalize gaming in the country of 128 million people.
Japan could become the largest gaming country in the world, surpassed only by Macau.
It is estimated that two gaming resorts in Tokyo and another in Osaka could generate revenues of $10 billion annually.
Jonathan Galaviz, managing director of U.S.-based consultancy Galaviz & Company, said that figure could balloon if gaming resorts with hotels, retail shopping and other entertainment offerings opened across Japan.
The potential size of Japan’s casino gaming industry could approach $100 billion over the long term if the industry is allowed to develop and grow in an unconstrained manner.
Japan has long been viewed as the Holy Grail of Asian gaming due to its wealthy population, close proximity to China and appetite for other forms of legal gambling, including horse racing and betting on sports.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s landslide electoral victory in December has changed the outlook as he moves to get Japan’s long-stagnant economy moving with big spending while tackling the country’s huge national debt, the worst among industrialized nations at more than twice the size of the economy.
Japan is looking to regenerate the country’s declining importance as a regional hub and boost tourism numbers, which were hammered after the quake-tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster two years ago.
I wonder how Las Vegas is viewing this news report.
I’ve gotten a few emails requesting more information on another letter that I published.
It’s about the new, lower fares to Japan and Okinawa that a reader submitted to me.
At any rate, here is the request: “I enjoy reading your Rafu column. In regards to the 6/4/13 article, please ask your reader Kuni-san to write about his space-available journey from Los Angeles to Japan and Okinawa in detail. How he travels, date and time, and opinion on his visit.
Also your living experience in Japan. I think we will all appreciate it. I am a naturalized citizen from Japan and married a hakujin Navy man and retired vet.
“You are not the only person who lost a loved one. I am a widow. Maybe Robin’s spirit will live with you forever. Please take care. You have a great family.
“Jaa mata. Ogenki de ne.”
Thank you for your letter. I will see if I can contact Kuni to get more information on his recent trip to Japan at economical rates.
Perhaps a few “Confucius-esque quotes” might shift the mood of this column. So let me toss in a few.
Man who wants pretty nurse must be patient.
Passionate kiss like a spider web — leads to undoing of fly.
Lady who goes camping must beware of evil in tent.
Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.
Man who eats many prunes get good run for money.
War does not determine who is right, it determines who is left.
Man who fights with his wife all day gets no piece at night.
It takes many nails to build a crib but only one screw to fill it.
Man who drives like hell is bound to get there.
Man who stands on toilet is high on pot.
Man who lives in glass house should change clothes in basement.
Try this one: A country club didn’t allow women on its golf course. Eventually, there was enough pressure that they decided to give equal privileges to allow women on the course during the week. The ladies were satisfied with the arrangement, formed a women’s club and became very active.
After about six months, the club board received a letter from the women’s club complaining about the men urinating on the golf course. The matter was ignored.
After another six months, the board received another letter reminding them of the previous letter demanding action. After due deliberation, the board sent the women a letter advising them that they had been granted equal privileges.
I wonder how the men will react when they see the women going shishi on the course.
Hey, maybe they’ll par the hole.
It didn’t get any attention in the media when President Obama was in Southern California last week and he played a round of golf at a local course.
So what, you might ask.
Well, Obama invited three of his classmates from high school in Honolulu to play the round with him. Greg Orme, Mike Ramos, and Bobby Titcomb.
They were in the same class at Punahou High School.
I’m curious who arranged the golf get-together.
No, there was no mention of who won and with what score.
I mentioned that since I lost my driver, I haven’t planned another trip to Vegas.
Well, I also noted that a number of readers have offered to drive me if I requested it.
I am not considering taking them up on their offer.
Would you believe it’s been over four months since my last trip?
Gosh, I never thought something like that was possible.
I guess if I do decide to take up the offers to drive, it will be in mid-July.
That would make it five months since my last visit.
If someone told me that I would be gone from Vegas for five months, I would have laughed.
Oh well, no wonder I have a few extra dollars in my pocket these days.
George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.