Needless to say, everyone who has followed the tragic massacre in Colorado is wondering what’s happening in our society.  How could such a thing happen?

An assailant toting armfuls of weapons in a populated area of a city going unnoticed?

Well, after the fact it might be easy to ask such questions and just as easy to be critical about what we “should have done.”

One of these “should have dones” is outlawing certain guns, as was suggested by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

That’s always the case when incidents like this one take place. However, outlawing guns won’t stop these incidents because those responsible will always find ways to obtain firearms.

Japan probably has the toughest gun laws of any country in the world. Yet, crimes involving guns still occur. Somehow the underworld element manages to smuggle guns into Japan.

So it would be almost next to impossible to outlaw weapons in the U.S.

Here’s another “What’s happening in our society” news story that may be missed by those of us living in Southern California. It centers around Hayward Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. She is going to run for a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

So, what’s so newsworthy about that?

Well, Hayashi was charged with grand theft of $2,450 worth of merchandise from a Neiman Marcus Department Store, for which she was sentenced to three years probation and fined $180.

Hayashi, in an interview, stated that the shoplifting was inadvertent and she was distracted by a cell phone call when she left the store with the unpaid merchandise.

In seeking the Board of Supervisors seat, she hopes that the voters will forgive her crime.

As an Assembly member, a magazine named her one of the most influential Asian Americans of the past decade.

It will be interesting to see how her bid for another government post turns out.

I’ll keep an eye open to the results, not because she’s an Asian American seeking a government seat, but to see how the voters will react to her campaign for election.

Perhaps it’s because I was interned at Heart Mountain, but I frequently get material from those camp days.

Most recently a handful of photos from the book “Colors of Confinement.”

I’ve never seen some of these photos before, and needless to say, they brought back a lot of memories from those days back in the early ’40s.

So I thought I would print one of them and maybe it will have the same effect on others who were residing at the Wyoming camp.

I was contemplating writing next Tuesday’s column with a Las Vegas dateline, but I haven’t been able to get my reservation at The California Hotel, so I may be sitting at my computer in Gardena.

Don’t know what the reason, but according to information I received, rooms at The Cal are completely sold out next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

I’m still hopeful that my request for a room starting Sunday will be available and I can chat about how things are going at The Cal.

Stayed tuned.

I guess one of my sons does read my column.

I had mentioned that as time passes, my sons seem to have forgotten their “old man” still has a birthday.

Got a call from my youngest son saying since my birthday fell on a weekday, they were planning to hold a get-together on Sunday so everyone invited could attend.

Kind of warmed my heart and made me feel a year older. Heh, heh.

We all know that sushi is a very popular dish in the U.S., but how many know that it’s just as popular in France?

Well, according to a news story coming out of Paris, sushi was introduced in France 14 years ago and there are now 90 shops there.

However, the French company added its own creation to the traditional Japanese dish, and it is introducing “French sushi” to the U.S. with a new outlet in New York City.

Their sushi includes such delicacies as chicken cheese maki rolls, though lox and cream cheese sushi may win over American sushi fans.

The New York sushi shop also will offer take-out and delivery service for the new brand of sushi for orders over $15. Individual orders can be less than $2.50 at the shop.

I’m curious if they will expand and set up French sushi in California.

It might be interesting to try sushi with cream cheese, or would it draw an “ugh” reaction from true sushi lovers?

Touching on things Chinese, we’ve all heard the old saying, “Darn clever, those Chinese.”

Well, take a peek at the photo I’ve tossed in here.

It shows students at a Chinese military academy taking their final exam. In order to ensure that there is no cheating, all those taking the exam have to wear special headgear to keep each student from slipping answers to each other via eye contact.


I wonder if some U.S. schools might try to adopt the clever Chinese prevention method.

I’m not an Angels baseball fan, but I watched them on TV the other day because they were playing the Texas Rangers, who started Yu Darvish, the “Japanese” pitcher, who beat the Anaheim club.

Darvish has blond hair but his facial features are Japanese. His mother is Japanese but his father is Iranian.

What about his language?

According to stories in the sports pages of newspapers, he doesn’t speak English, so he needs an interpreter.

As with other Japanese players now in the Major Leagues, Darvish draws a large contingent of the Japanese media whenever he takes the mound.

After a sluggish start, he is now pitching for Texas the way they hoped he would when they signed him.

Little wonder that as many as 80 reporters from Japan cover the games he is scheduled to pitch.

Earlier I mentioned about Japan having the strictest anti-gun law of any country in the world.

Well, if the people from Japan are introduced to a new Las Vegas resort called Machine Gun Vegas, they may swarm to the facility, which will allow patrons to its shooting range.

The 10,000-square-foot building has 16 shooting ranges provided with handguns and machine guns. Machine Gun Vegas will be a “dry facility.” That is, no one will be permitted to consume alcohol if they seek admission to the establishment.

The owner of the new facility said, “People come to Vegas looking for something different to experience, and Machine Gun Vegas will certainly provide that.”

Especially for Japanese tourists.

I’m not sure where the new tourist attraction is located, but if I make it up there next week, I’m sure going to look for it and drop in.

Hey, I haven’t fired a machine gun since I was a GI in the Army during World War II. It might rekindle some memories of that era in my life.

I’m just curious how much Machine Gun Vegas charges for patrons who want to fire weapons.

I’m sure it will cost more than the 25-cent slot machines.

I was kind of relieved that the price of gas dropped as much as 80 cents over the past two weeks since I was planning to drive to Vegas.

Then, for the past three days, I saw the prices go up 20 cents per gallon, which means, of course, that by next Sunday, it may go back to the same higher level as three weeks ago.

Hey, how did they know I was planning a drive to Vegas? Heh, heh.

At any rate, I guess I don’t feel so bad when I read what the folks in Japan pay for a gallon of gas. Would you believe $8?

Of course, people over there don’t drive hundreds of miles to go anywhere because they have great public transportation.

I’ve driven on their toll roads and I never found the bumper-to-bumper traffic that I faced when driving in downtown Tokyo.

Speaking of toll roads, I see that the Harbor Freeway, which I use to get to J-Town, will now be a toll road. The cost of which I don’t think I want to pay.

So, I’ll have to fight the Harbor Freeway traffic or drive into Little Tokyo on the surface roads (Main, San Pedro or Figueroa), which will add another 30 to 40 minutes of travel unless I want to pay the high fee that they announced will be charged on the toll road.

No, thank you.

Laugh time. (Maggie’s comment: Forgive me, Mr. Y, but your joke about the Polish man moving to the U.S. and marrying an American girl was published so recently, I hope you don’t mind my substituting the following.)

Ways to Tell You’re Japanese American (10 from a list of 41):

1. You don’t need to read the instructions on the proper use of a hashi.

2. You pack bento for road trips.

3. You grew up on rice, bacon fried rice, chili rice, curry rice or red rice.

4. You always use Best Foods mayonnaise and like to mix it with shoyu to dip broccoli.

5. You like to eat your rice in a chawan, not on a plate.

6. Along with salt and pepper, you have a shoyu dispenser at your table.

7. As a kid, you used to eat Botan rice candy.

8. You have a Japanese doll in a glass case.

9. When you visit other JAs, you take a little something as “omiyage.”

l0. You’re not superstitious, but you believe in “bachi.”

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via e-mail at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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