HORSE’S MOUTH: Nichi Bei Day

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published June 21, 2014)

I’m glad he’s back. That would be George Wakiji, one of this column’s strongest supporters, who has been absent for a few months.

Okay, let me get on with my chatter for today.

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I doubt if any of you in the reading audience ever heard of the Traveler’s Gazette, a newspaper published in 1957. It was a sporting newspaper for the JA community.

The top story in the Feb. 3, 1957 issue was the San Jose Zebras’ visit to Los Angeles to play teams from Southern California. One of the local teams was the Los Angeles Hurricanes.

So here’s the part of the publication that should draw a laugh.

The editor of the Gazette? A guy named George Yoshinaga

The delivery boy? A guy named George Yoshinaga.

Well, now you get the reason why the **Traveler’s Gazette** didn’t last too long as a JA community newspaper.

As I always note, “Heh, heh.”

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Okay, let’s toss this one in.

What city in the U.S. was rated as the No. 1 city as far as well-being is concerned? That would be Provo, Utah.

Right behind Provo was Boulder, Colorado.

Honolulu was third and the San Jose/Santa Clara area ranked fourth.

San Francisco/Oakland were rated ninth.

The worst city? That would be Huntington, West Virginia.

California’s Redding was rated the fourth-worst city.

The rankings were based on 500,000 interviews.

I wish I could see the entire list. Gardena might be on the best or worst list.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Mr. Y. Have you tried to Google for that list? Google has a wealth of information on most subjects or questions you may have on people, events, words, including Japanese, etc.)

This was the sixth year of the survey and the second time Provo has come in first. Provo’s mayor, John Curtis, said, “It’s a great place to live.”

There was no information given as to how the choices were made, so I can’t say why Honolulu was ranked one step ahead of San Jose.

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I’m not sure what the Japanese American population is in the City of Oakland, but their baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, will be putting on a “Nichi Bei Day” on Aug. 24 when they play host to the Los Angeles Angels.

The game is also a fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation, which includes the publishers of the community newspaper The Nichi Bei Weekly.

The Nichi Bei Weekly ran a half-page color ad with a photo featuring Oakland player Hiroyuki Nakajima.

Tickets for the special day are listed at $40 each, which includes parking.

Gee, it’s too bad the Dodgers don’t have a Japanese player on their roster so they might also hold a similar special game day. Even though the Dodgers were the first big-league club in decades to sign a player from Japan, they haven’t come close to getting another Japanese player on their roster.

With the largest Japanese American population in the U.S., it would seem like something the Dodgers might consider.

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A recent story in many publications centered around the world’s oldest living man and woman. Well, a Japanese man and a Japanese woman claimed the title. However, soon after they claimed the title, they both passed away.

So, what happened next?

The next oldest woman and oldest man were also Japanese, which prompted one U.S. magazine to publish a story under the title “Longest-Living Place on Earth.”

A healthy diet was given credit for the Japanese living longer than people in other countries.

A quarter of Japan’s population is age 65 or older. In Tokyo, 3.1 million live to be 65 and older, according to the health ministry.

Many credit foods such as miso soup for giving the Japanese such long life. Others say that salty contents of miso soup help shorten the Japanese long life.

At any rate, miso soup or not, it is Japan’s diet that provides the country with long life, according to most experts.

Well, I enjoy miso soup with a bowl of rice and tsukemono on the side.

Does that ensure me a longer life?

Well, maybe eating a lot of Big Macs works against me.

I know that the Japanese don’t eat as much beef as Americans, so I guess miso soup and assorted fish dishes are the secret.

Oh well.

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Time for a letter. A reader who says I can identify him only as “Fred” wrote me the following:

“Horse, you frequently mention places you dine at, but in reading your article I didn’t see you mention Soup Plantation as being among your favorite restaurants. I have seen you the two times I went to Soup Plantation, so I just assumed you go there often.”

You’re right, Fred. I guess since I tend to overeat when I take my wife to Soup Plantation, I don’t list it as being among my favorite places to help keep my weight down.

Heck, I just came from Soup Plantation before I sat down again to pound out my column.

I hope you didn’t see me there again Wednesday night.

Although Soup Plantation is an “all you can eat” place, most of their dishes are salads and soup, so eating “all I can” doesn’t harm me as much as a regular dining spot.

By the way, I notice when I dine at Soup Plantation how many of the patrons are Asians. I would like to say Japanese Americans, but these days, it’s getting tough to separate JAs from Koreans and Chinese.

All I can say is that more than half of the guests at Soup Plantation are Asians and they all load up their plates.

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Another letter from reader Grace Sakioka, who wrote:

“Hi George. Remember me? Small world but I received a letter from an old friend who does not use a computer and is about 88 years old. She mentioned there was a George Yoshinaga living across the street from her family pre-WWII in Mountain View. Her family is the Takemotos. She said this George Yoshinaga had an older sister who’s 91 and is now widowed and has a cat.

“She mentioned her name but I already accidentally threw it away after I wrote back.

“Lily has a younger brother named Carlos and another younger brother and sister. Her name is Lily (Takemoto) Hioki, who I met in Utah during the war. She knows all the same old stores that I remember on Jackson Street in San Jose.

“The Dobashi brothers are all gone and another Japanese company bought and runs the grocery store. The only store from the old days is the Kogura store, but owned by another family. The only other big grocery store was owned by the Santo brothers, who are now all deceased. A childhood friend was married to the youngest brother, who was not in the grocery business.

“Just curious if you can recall this family. Takemotos or could be Takimoto.”

Thanks for you letter, Grace.

Yes, I do recall a few Japanese families living on the same street as my family in Mountain View but since nearly 70 years have passed, I can’t recall the names of the families.

As you may know, I didn’t go back to Mountain View, but decided to settle in Los Angeles after I was discharged from the military after WWII. That’s because my mother passed away while I was in the service and my sister was married, so I couldn’t move in with her.

Since I made a lot of friends during camp days at Heart Mountain, I decided to settle in Los Angeles, which might have been a good move because I landed a job as a newspaper employee and began writing my column.

So here I am, still pounding out “The Horse’s Mouth.”

But, as I frequently mention, at my age, I might have to “hang ’em up” in the not too distant future; however, since so many readers do drop me a line to say, “Don’t quit,” I’m going to try to keep going.

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Speaking of readers, maybe I’ll try to get some information on a situation I wrote about a few times.

It has to do with my neighbor’s barking dog.

During the daytime, even though it is annoying, it’s not as bad as the mutt barking at night.

I told the neighbors about my complaint, but they don’t do anything about it.

It seems to me that all they have to do is take the dog inside during the night, but they don’t, so the mutt is in their backyard barking all night long.

One of my friends whom I told about this problem said, “Why don’t you report it to the city?”

Well, for one thing, my wife doesn’t like the idea because the city may take the dog to the pound. So here I am, just complaining about it in my column.

Maybe I should go to the city pound and pick out a dog of my own that can bark all day and night.

The neighbor might then realize how annoying a barking dog can be.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Mr. Y, Have you tried tape-recording the dog’s barking at night and the time? Then you can take it to your neighbor and he can listen to his dog’s barking and maybe that will solve the problem. It won’t be necessary to leave the tape going all night but just for a few hours.)

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Today’s laugher is entitled “Taking a Woman to Bed.” The title might be a bit deceiving. At any rate, here it is:

What is the difference between girls and women aged 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 68 and 78?

At 8: You take her to bed and tell her a story.

At 18: You tell her a story and take her to bed.

At 28: You don’t need to tell her a story to take her to bed.

At 38: She tells you a story and takes you to bed.

At 48: She tells you a story to avoid going to bed.

At 58: You stay in bed to avoid her story.

At 68: If you take her to bed, that’ll be a story.

At 78: What story? What bed?

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So, I’ll wind it up with another letter. This one is from Frank Fukuhara, who wrote:

“Dear George — The following information may be of interest to your golfing readers. I was born Feb. 5, 1915 in Maywood, CA. I have been an avid golfer for over 65 years.

“I began golfing at Alondra Par 3 Golf Curse for 12 months before graduating to the regulation 18-hole courses.

“I golf on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Los Verdes Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes. It is a 43-mile drive from my home to the course, but driving from home seems like 63 miles. I get up at 2:30 in the morning, leave my house at 4:00 a.m. just in time when the coffee shop opens.

“Our golf group tees up around 6:30 a.m. On Wednesday, I golf with my brother and on Friday with my wife, Yoko, who I first met at Rancho Park Golf Course on Pico Boulevard. We have been golfing together for 35 years.

“Before closing, I must tell you about some golfers who start 20 minutes before daylight. Wearing a miner’s lamp in the dark.

“It happens every morning at Los Verdes Golf Course. If you find this information of interest, I can write about my personal life the next time.”

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Forgive me, Mr. Y, but I just felt compelled to add this: A minister and one of the members of his church went golfing on a weekly basis. After months of playing, the minister became depressed because he could never win. The member told the minister, “Don’t worry, you’re the only one who can bury me.” The minister said, “Yes, but it’s still your hole.”)

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and can be reached via email at horsesmouth2000@hotmail.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

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