HORSE’S MOUTH: Changes in JA Vernaculars



(Published June 20, 2015)

After having written for so many years, I guess I’ve forgotten most of the things I have pounded out on my keyboard. Yes, that would include many of the people I wrote about.

I realized this when coming across photos of people I posed with for the camera. That may be hard to understand, but it’s true.

Take the photo I’m running with this piece of writing. The guy is so familiar but if someone asked, “Who is he?” I’d just have to shrug my shoulders.

So, I’ll ask you readers the question, “Who is he?”

Maybe I’ll get some responses.

horse and athleteWhen one writes a column twice a week, this is a common situation.

In recent years I have stated that I’d like to “hang ’em up,” but I’m always told to reconsider such a thought.

Of course, things are a lot different in the journalism field these days, especially the vernacular press.

Yes, I enjoy writing, which keeps me going. If I felt it was more work than pleasure, I would be sidelined.

I guess the only question would be: Do the folks who may read my chatter enjoy it more than I enjoy writing it?”

I know I’ve put this question out to you readers before, but it’s always good to hear your reactions. This will help me decide what my next step will be.


One thing for sure, today’s newspapers aren’t as competitive as they used to be when there were a handful of Japanese/English vernaculars, something for a reading audience.

I believe we still have a couple of English publications still rolling off the presses. Today we have The Rafu Shimpo and the JACL publication, The Pacific Citizen. It’ a good thing we still have a person like Gwen Muranaka still at the helm of The Rafu.

While touching on this matter, I always pose the question: What’s the future of Japanese American vernacular journalism?

Over the years I’ve been employed by The Shin Nichi Bei, two publications in San Francisco, The Kashu Mainichi in L.A. and a couple of other English-language publications.

With the sagging of JA newspapers, will our younger journalists still continue to pursue a career in journalism?

I guess only time will tell.


I know I used to make it a point to go when Japanese horses competed at Santa Anita or Hollywood Park.

None of them fared too well, but it was interesting to see them run anyway.

One thing I‘d like to see is more Japanese jockeys entered at one of the local tracks.

It would be nice to see a Japanese rider at, say, Del Mar this coming summer.

Speaking of things Japanese, how about some U.S. owners bringing over some Japanese jockeys to ride at the local tracks?

Size-wise, I’m pretty sure Japanese jockeys would get a lot of mounts if they decided to ride in the U.S.

Heck, I’m sure they would be successful, and they would attract me to attend races.

If they can have the Tokyo City Cup every year at Santa Anita, you can imagine what it would be like if some of the entries were actually from Japan.

They’re off and running! Regrettably, I have to say I’m off and running, too, due to unavoidable circumstances.

Please forgive the shortness of today’s chatter. See ya next week.

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



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