HORSE’S MOUTH: I Love Hawaiian Food

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

As with other readers who write to me with comments about the stuff I write, the following said, “Don’t use my name.” Okay, no problem. Here is what she wrote:

“I’ve been reading your column since you joined The Rafu and enjoy it very much although I have to admit I don’t agree with you about half the time.

“The reason I am writing to you today is that I am curious what the other members of the **Rafu** staff think of your column. I don’t ever recall any of them writing to disagree with you.

“Do you discuss your writing with the other staffers?”

No, I don’t discuss my column with Editor Gwen or any of the other staffers.

I guess the only one who reads it is Maggie because she retypes what I write since I have to admit I make a number of errors in pounding out the seven pages it takes to fill the space allotted to me.

Besides that, I guess it’s my age. I’m probably as old or older than the parents of those on the Rafu staff. I guess Wimp Hiroto is the only one close to me in age, so I have to admit I read his column every week.

No, I don’t think Wimp reads my chatter. I don’t blame him … heh, heh.

He won a lot of journalism awards when he was attending USC.

Me? I learned how to write when I was in the Heart Mountain Relocation Center and Bill Hosokawa, who edited the camp newspaper, hired me.

I don’t think Bill was too enthusiastic about my journalistic skills as he once told me, “You have a lot to learn about journalism.”

So, I guess now, some 70 years after camp life, I might still be learning how to write.

Yeah, I know. The lady who wrote the foregoing letter is probably thinking, “You haven’t learned too much.”

Okay, enuff said. Let me get on with today’s column.

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It’s not because my wife is from Hawaii, but I love Island food. So I frequently search out Hawaiian-style restaurants. One of my favorites is Kings Hawaiian, located on Sepulveda Boulevard in Torrance.

The only problem is that if I decide to dine at Kings on weekends, especially Saturday, for lunch, the place is jam-packed and I have to wait at least 30 minutes to get a table.

So it was when my niece and nephew invited my wife and me to lunch last Saturday. I noticed that each time a table opened, it was taken in a matter of seconds.

We spent about 40 minutes dining and when we were finished, the restaurant staff made it clear they wanted us to leave.

I guess that most of those dining at Kings are former folks from Hawaii.

I was first introduced to Kings when I used to visit Honolulu and my friends there would take me to Kings for lunch or dinner. I became a Hawaiian food addict. Of course, Hawaiian food isn’t great for my waistline.

I wasn’t surprised when I met my wife’s brothers. Both were state champion sumo wrestlers in Hawaii and competed in the Islands against visiting Japanese sumo wrestlers.

Both weighed over 250 pounds, so they weren’t “outsized” by the sumo-tori from Japan.

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Still touching on Hawaii, each year the USS Missouri Memorial Association has the honor of bringing Veterans Day and Armistice Day observations around the world to a close with a sunset ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor.

Though the ceremony is a tribute to all veterans, past and present, this year’s ceremony will specifically honor the legacy of the Nisei soldier.

The ceremony will be held on Monday, Nov. 11, from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. on the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The event is open to the public, but guests must RSVP by emailing [email protected] or calling (808) 455-1600, ext. 232. RSVP deadline is Nov. 6 for those who will use the complimentary shuttle service running from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to Battleship Missouri.

Here in L.A., there will be a veterans’ celebration on Nov. 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo. Visit with veterans and enjoy family activities as part of the Japanese American National Museum’s Target Free Family Saturday.

On the same day, there will be a French Legion of Honor ceremony at the monument at 10 a.m.

On Dec. 7 at 2 p.m., JANM will host “MIS in Occupied Japan,” a panel discussion by the Go For Broke National Education Center on the role of Military Intelligence Service soldiers in the rebuilding of Japan after the end of World War II.

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When it was announced that the 2020 Olympic Games was awarded to Tokyo, a lot of opinions were expressed over the pros and cons of the selection.

I’m sure most Japanese are in favor of the choice, but what about non-Japanese, especially non-Japanese living in Tokyo as “residents”? Following are some of their opinions:

• An American writer named Colleen Sakura, 58, said, “This is Japan’s chance to show the outside world they are doing a good job of looking after their own. It would benefit Japan to show better rebuilding efforts in Tohoku and that they are getting the nuclear situation under control. Otherwise the Games look like a deliberate focus shift.”

• A 35-year-old housewife from Venezuela, Sakura Tsuchihashi, said, “More menus should be translated into English and more English training for staff would be a good start. But really, there should be more information available in other languages. There’s Chinese and English now, but information in more languages is necessary.”

• Robert J. Kelley, 22, who serves in the U.S. Navy, said, “Foreigners aren’t aware of Japan’s complicated recycling policies. Better explanations of that — as well as more trash and recycling cans on the street — would be a good thing, I think.”

• Matt Dunn, 37, who serves in the Royal Australian Navy, said, “There isn’t a lot Japan has to do. The stadiums will be great and transport is already awesome. Sometimes you might get lost when visiting smaller communities. Japan should provide more information about places outside of the cities to get tourists to visit smaller local spots.”

• Leza Lowitz, 50, an American yoga teacher and writer, said, “The Japanese authorities should listen to domestic and international voices about various issues in Japan, like the dolphin killing in Taiji. This is a chance for them to change or fix some of these issues and use the attention the Olympics provides to show they are doing something about them.”

I’m sure there are a lot more opinions being cast by foreigners living in Japan, but these are just a few expressed to the media.

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Yes, my wife is watching the World Series on TV, but I told her to cut back on the sound so I can concentrate on writing my column.

She said, “Why don’t you just shut the door to your computer room?”

I did, but I could still hear the screaming of the Boston fans, which must mean they are winning.

Yeah, I’m rooting for St. Louis because they beat our Dodgers to get into the World Series.

As I write this, the Boston team is winning from what I’ve heard so far. I guess it’s all over for the Cardinals.

Oh well, Boston has a Japanese pitcher and a former Dodger, Shane Victorino, so I guess it won’t be too bad to see them win.

Yeah, I placed a small wager with a Nisei friend, so he must be smiling now since I backed the Cards.

I guess beating the Dodgers really didn’t mean anything for the Cards.

Beating Boston just wasn’t in the Cards. Heh, heh.

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Since a Japanese pitcher has gotten Boston to the edge of becoming the World Series champions, is it not about time we put together a “real” world series with the winner of the U.S. series facing the winner of the Japanese series?

How can we call the winner of the U.S. series “world champions” when a Japanese pitcher contributes to the victory by the U.S. team?

When there are so many more countries that also play “world championship” games, especially Japan, how can two U.S. teams claim the title?

Oh well.

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As a Republican, I was more than pleased to read a story with the heading “Obama approval sinks to new low.”

The opening paragraph of the NBC News story reads, “President Barack Obama’s approval rating has declined to an all-time low as public frustration with Washington and pessimism about the nation’s direction grow, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”

Just 42 percent approve of the President’s job performance, which is down five points from earlier this month. By comparison, 51 percent disapprove of his job in office — tied from his all-time high.”

The NBC pollsters argue that no single reason explains Obama’s lowest poll standing.

Rather, they attribute it to the accumulation of setbacks since the summer — allegations of spying by the National Security Agency, the debate over Syria’s chemical weapons, the government shutdown, and now intense scrutiny over the problems associated with the health care law’s federal website and its overall implementation.

And for the first time in the survey, even Obama’s personal ratings are upside down, with 41 percent viewing him a favorable light and 45 percent viewing him negatively.

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Am closing with “Grandma and the Telephone.” Here is the message Grandma put on her answering machine:

“Good morning. At the present time we are not at home, but please leave your message after you hear the beep.

“If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of birth arrival so we will know who it is.

“If you need us to stay with the children, press 2.

“If you want to borrow the car, press 3.

“If you want us to wash your clothes and do ironing, press 4.

“If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5.

“If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6.

“If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7.

“If you want to come here to eat, press 8.

“If you need money, press 9.

“If you are going to invite us to dinner or take us to the theater, start talking. We are listening!”

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The  Rafu Shimpo.

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