Wasabi for Breakfast by Foumiko Kometani
This book collects two novellas by the noted Japanese painter: "Family Business" and "1,001 Pillars of Flame." In the first, Megumi—like the author, a long-time resident of the United States—pays a visit to her now eighty-seven-year-old mother in Japan. After so many years living abroad, Megumi simply can't understand contemporary Japan, and when her nephew runs away from home, and her elderly mother gives chase, Megumi finds herself having to relearn Japanese survival skills in an effort to bring them home safely. In "1,001 Pillars of Fire," another Japanese-American woman, Yu, has been living in California for decades—which makes it all the more painful that she's just as subject to discrimination now as ever. When, in the wake of the Rodney King trial, LA's African-American population begins to riot, Yu learns just how much damage exclusion can do—finding it even within her own family.