Tag Archives: japan

Balboa Sushi House: San Francisco’s Slice of Small Town Japan

Balboa Sushi House, located at 402 Balboa Avenue, between 5th and 6th Avenues, is within walking ditance of campus. Hours: 12:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m., mon.-sat.; 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., Sun. Rolls range from $3.95 to $15.95

    When you first walk into Balboa Sushi house, two things happen. First, Owner Annie Kim greets you with a heart felt welcome and an intoxicating smile. Second, you’re overcome with the unique ambiance of the place. As Annie recalls, “I spent a lot of time in Japan and loved the feel of the small town Sushi houses there, and that is what I wanted to do here.”

You get that and then some at the Sushi House, which is carefully decorated with the artwork of loyal patrons. Every piece on the wall comes with a piece
of the Sushi House’s history, demonstrated best by one of her favorite pieces, which hangs over the majority of the tables. “The kid who drew that drew it when he was five, and now he is twenty. He still comes in.”

 All sentiments aside, the sushi is the true star attraction. While I ordered, I received a complementary cup of hot tea and a bowl of edamame (boiled soybeans with sprinkled salt). Once I had sipped my tea and ate the edamame, Annie emerged from the kitchen carrying a platter of sushi so elegantly
arranged that I had to take a second to admire the craftsmanship of husband and Sushi
Chef James Kim.

On that platter I find the three rolls I ordered: the California ($4.95) the Tekka ( Tuna, $4.95) and the Rainbow ($12.95) rolls. As I took my first bite into the California roll, I was greeted by an incredible balance of sweet crab with the perfect amount of salt and fresh avocado, rolled together in premium rice. The Tekka roll was packed with a huge piece of fresh tuna and encompassed by crisp seaweed.

While those two rolls certainly satiated, my favorite without a doubt was the Rainbow roll, coated with everything from Unagi (Freshwater eel), to tuna and to shrimp. From the first bite of the California roll to the last piece of the Rainbow roll, I was in heaven. Besides the fabulous sushi, the warm service from Annie and James is what keeps fans of the Balboa Sushi House coming back for more.

As I pay my bill and leave, Annie smiles and says “Thank you, see you soon,” which she definitely will. If you’re looking
for great sushi and a warm experience, it’s hard to beat Balboa Sushi House.

Emergency Rations Can Wait, But Those Jeans Cannot?

I am often perplexed every time I jump in to join the queue at my local shopping center to purchase some new sets of clothing. I find it somewhat odd to encounter individuals standing in the very same line appearing as if they’re about to undergo a severe traumatic ordeal. As I waited to checkout, I noticed a lady rolling her eyes in disgust, a man deliberately tapping his foot to the rhythm of a seconds hand on a clock, two friends murmuring their grievances to one another, and if that wasn’t enough, I heard hissing. All of which occurred as I watched the unfortunate cashier attendant undergo constant interrogation from her supervisor to the tune of “have you acknowledged the line?” Hissing? Seriously, hissing while waiting to be rung up for a pair of skinny jeans?

Perhaps this is an all too common occurrence in shopping centers, stores, and malls across America of patience running incredibly thin. It seems that in this fast-paced society with tag lines such as “high speed,” “instant access,” and “no waits no hassles”, the very thought of waiting a few minutes has proven to be traumatic and rather taxing on our human abilities. No longer is the saying “patience as a virtue,” relevant. Instead, a society that is focused on the “me” and the “now” takes precedence. But if there is anything to learn from this shift in social values, patience and the ability to endure are still significant societal standards to uphold.

We are all saddened by the recent events of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan that led to the unimaginable loss of life and destruction.

Yet, in the midst of all the chaos and anguish that has plagued the country; we can’t help but to be inspired by the enduring spirit of the Japanese people. As the death toll rose and the search began for the injured and missing, people waited in lines throughout the day and night. The wait to hear from and be united with missing loved ones, the lines into the hospitals to find the injured or receive the bodies of the dead, and the queues to obtain emergency rations and medical supplies. These have all been truly traumatic experiences. But in these trying times, the people demonstrated a strong sense of perseverance as well as what it means to endure, to have true patience. Long lines were orderly, calm, and without contempt towards rescue workers and officials. In the face of such human tragedy people lined up and waited, and waited patiently for however long it took.

In the light of a disaster such as this, it would seem that our inability to line up, without malice, in order to purchase leisured merchandise at the mall as rather trivial and petty in the vast scheme of things. We should all make an effort to instill the value of patience in today’s society, especially in a time when the shopping mall is quickly replacing the notion of what public space is. My parents never gave me anything for complaining, and definitely not for hissing. As the famous proverb goes “all good things come to those who wait”… in line that is.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino

Student Struggled to Contact Family in Japan Post Earthquake

Spring break didn’t start off ideal for USF senior Rafai Eddy. While getting a haircut on March 10, his younger brother called him on the phone alerting him of some news—Japan had been hit with a 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

Immediately after, he turned to news casts and used every possible mode of communication to contact his mom in Asagaya, Tokyo, who lives with his maternal grandmother.

Eddy’s mom eventually sent him a Facebook message to notify him that she was fine. Later he found out that his grandma was also safe at home.

None of his family’s valuables were damaged by the earthquake. Had things turned out worse, Eddy said, “I can’t imagine losing my family members in such a way. It’s just devastating.”

Eddy, who is half Japanese and half Trinidadian, grew up in Japan before coming to USF. Eddy’s father left to visit relatives in Trinidad days before the earthquake, and Eddy had to break the news to him about the earthquake via e-mail.

Eddy kept close contact with his friends from Japan who “didn’t seem too worried about it. So that gave me a sign of relief. But it was definitely stressful.”

According to Eddy, Tokyo’s solid infrastructure kept the city from experiencing far worse damages and that people in Japan are used to having earthquakes once or twice a month, but his mom was not prepared for one with such a massive impact.

Professor of Asian Studies Stephen Roddy said that temples and shrines are now being used as shelters since they are built at higher elevations.

When news of the increasing radiation levels broke out, Eddy said the radiation level in his hometown of Asagaya was at eleven percent. His mom contemplated leaving the country, but since Japanese news reports did not advise civilians to evacuate, she decided to stay.

Rafai Eddy and Family courtesy of Rafai Eddy

Senior soccer player Rafai Eddy was born and raised in Asagaya, Tokyo. (Courtesy of Rafai Eddy)

Many children lost their parents due to the earthquake and tsunami. Many of these casualties live in Sendai,the city most impacted by natural disasters. Eddy’s mom is considering adopting children.

“It makes me feel bad that I can’t do anything right now to help those people individually, but I really want to,” Eddy said, “I haven’t been through what they’ve been through, but I have the utmost respect for them.”

Eddy was baptized Catholic, though not an active churchgoer,  and, he said, “I definitely took my time to pray for the victims and for Japan as a whole, that and my family’s safety.”

What’s most striking, Eddy suggested, is Japan’s quick readiness to restore their country. Eddy describes Japan’s response to the disaster by saying that “people figure stuff out quickly.”

He said that Japan has an advantage, compared to the locations of other natural disasters in recent years, such as the Haiti earthquake, because people there live to work and they’re going to get the work done.

Eddy said, “I’m really happy and proud about what people are doing in Japan right now to help the situation. This is our country and this is what we have to do. We have to help and we have to do it fast.”

Roddy suggested that Japan’s actions were representative of Japanese culture.

“I think,” he said, “that the strong desire to care for the victims and bring early relief to the affected areas does reflect a certain community solidarity across Japanese society” and related to the Shinto, a Japanese spiritual belief.

Eddy is currently at the university on a soccer scholarship and majoring in International Business graduating in spring, at which point in time he will most likely move back to Japan. Along with his younger brother, Eddy hopes to find a summer job to help rebuild Sendai.

Eddy said, “[The earthquake and tsunami] really gives you a reality check. I was lucky enough not to lose anything but it’s always that thought of what if.”

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

News Editor: Ericka Montes

A Brief Guide to Fashionable Giving: The Fashion Community Reaches Out to Help Japan

Every day, somewhere in the world, tragedy strikes and hearts are broken. The coverage of the Pacific’s earthquakes and tsunami continuing to rattle Northern Japan has brought thousands of individual tragedies and broken hearts to our television screens. We watched the crisis with sad spirits, feeling helpless for Japanese families and those affected by the destruction. Being students at the University of San Francisco, we are trained to extend our hands to those in need in our community and beyond. Yes, Japan is many miles away, but our diverse campus community at USF is made up of many who are connected to the tragedy.

While almost every media outlet is providing information on how to contribute dollars to the efforts in Japan, there are other ways to give and create awareness to the cause. Leave it to philanthropic designers in the fashion industry to provide support with perks, connecting your credit card as an IV to the Red Cross to aid those in need.

Red Crossing
Red Bags by  Rebecca Minkoff
The red circle on the Japan flag symbolizes the rising sun. Help the sun rise in Japan this season by carrying a red Rebecca Minkoff bag with each sale supporting the Red Cross. Not only will your ruby bag cross your heart and sway at your side with fierce style, but $100 of each bag purchased will be donated to help provide medical care, food and shelter to thousands affected by the tsunami. Prices range from $294-$495 for all styles and occasions.


Love in the Mix
We Love Japan T-Shirts
by Tory Burch
Help carry on the Tory Burch craze of comfy leather and gold T-emblem flats to the designer’s Japan relief t-shirt. No need to worry about this charitable fashion item going out of style as the t-shirt camouflages its message with rows of petit Japan flags surrounding one row of red hearts. No matter if worn under a blazer, thrown on with denim, or cuddled up in bed as a PJ shirt, your heart will feel its warmth with 100 percent of proceeds heading straight to the Red Cross. This relief effort is just $29 with no shipping cost. Cute, comfy and charitable.


A Wave of Relief
Wave Necklace by Jewelry
for a Cause
The wave that destroyed Northern Japan was unstoppable, fluid and powerful. It is now our turn to fight the destruction with an unstoppable, fluid and powerful aid to reconstruct the lives affected. Charm the idea of lending a helping hand by honoring Japan with a wave charm around your neck by Jewelry for a Cause. The two $30 blue wave pendents are modern and easy to incorporate into your accessory rotation with more than 20 percent rolling to the Red Cross. This necklace duo is perfect to share as a gift with any friend or family member and is fashionable for ladies and gentlemen alike.


Positive Bandwagon
Charity T-Shirt for Japan
by Anna Sui
The weight of the earthquake and tsunami crisis is an impossible handful to balance. However, Anna Sui’s t-shirts (designed by Dean Landry) show hands holding the heart of Japan announcing, “Japan: We’re All in This Together.” Unify this effort by choosing to purchase this shirt for $20 in a women’s lavender or a men’s black. 100 percent of proceeds go to Japan disaster relief. The world of Anna Sui communicates imagination and nostalgia, so this is a perfect piece to remember destruction while realizing healing is on the horizon.


The fashion industry endures the criticism of selfishness and snobbery but it also provides one of the most compassionate artistic outlets to extend a helping hand. Let your guard down and consider shopping for a cause. Keep your eyes open for tsunami relief t-shirts, red hot Rebecca Minkoff satchels, and symbolic waves around our necks to see fashionable support at USF. Courage will help rebuild Japan. We must stand together to support the cause as an institution specializing in humane relations.
Through donations, fashion, or hands on service, USF awareness and concern shall be addressed to contribute to our world’s well being.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracy Sidler

USF History Vault: WWII Plunges Student Enrollment

Dec. 7 will mark the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, whenJapan’s air forces took the naval base by surprise and impelled President Franklin Roosevelt to declare war during his “Day of Infamy” speech. By Dec. 11, Germany and Italy had declared war on the United States; World War II became an even greater problem.

For USF, the nation’s involvement in World War II had drastic effects. As male students volunteered for the army or were drafted, enrollment suddenly declined. Prior to Pearl Harbor’s attack, all divisions of the university had 1,337 students enrolled. By spring of 1945, that number sank to 321 students.

The academic calendar underwent some changes as well. The standard two-semester schedule was switched to a trimester system. The six-week summer session became the third semester.

The law school made its own accommodations as well. Classes were taught in rigorous nine-week sessions, as suggested by the law school regent Raymond Feely, S.J. These changes were implemented to help students complete their programs in less time. This, in turn, assisted students when they were reported for active duty, because they had the opportunity to attend officer’s candidate school, which trains and screens candidates before they serve in the forces.

At the time, USF was conjoined with St. Ignatius high school. USF graduated its students six months early, so that they could have finalized a semester’s worth of study before being drafted. With one semester under their belt, it increased the likelihood of attending officer’s candidate school.

With an enrollment decrease and a possible budget deficit, USF Pres. William Dunne, SJ, was forced to make a trip to Washington D.C. He pushed to maintain retention of the ROTC program and make additions for other university, military training programs.  In July 1943, the U.S. government granted the university just that. An Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) was established at USF. The program attracted 300 students nationwide to USF.

Also, many ROTC students were retained at USF to continue their training.

To make room for the military training programs, temporary buildings were built along Golden Gate Avenue, on the north side of the campus. These buildings included barracks, offices and an infirmary. The buildings were not removed 1965, when the Harney Science Center was built, and later with the addition of the University Center in 1966. Until then, the space was used as classroom space after the war.

Although ASTP program helped financially secure USF, the government discontinued the program in March of 1944 to send men overseas.  USF students were mandated to active duty. Once again, it placed USF in a financially unstable position. USF had continuous monthly deficit of 6,000 to $7,000

To get USF back on its feet, Fr. Dunne assembled a committee of alumni and friends to raise funds. The individuals who helped acquire the Masonic Cemetery–William McCarty, Florence McAuliffe, and Crocker Bank–headed the committee. Their campaign reigned in $150,000.

Although USF worked intently to stabilize finances, World War II had even greater impacts on the entire makeup of the university. Hundreds of USF students served in the war, and over 100 died in doing so.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

News Editor: Ericka Montes

Atomic Bomb Survivors Speak for Disarmament

Aug. 6, 1945 is a day that will live on in the hearts and minds of every man, woman and child in Japan. This day is forever remembered in history as the day the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Sept. 15, the USF community learned the stories of two women, Junko Kayashige and Yano Miyako, both survivors of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. They are traveling throughout the United States to speak about their courageous survivals and to spread support of disarming nuclear weapons. 

Kayashige and Miyako relate their stories in an attempt to raise awareness about the horrifying consequences of using nuclear weapons. Miyako wrote in her statement, “I believe that A-bombs were dropped not on Hiroshima and Nagasaki alone, but on the entire humanity. We have no choice but to abolish nuclear weapons, which can be used only for wars.” The two women shared their testimonies with the USF community on Sept. 15, ultimately hoping to gain support with their petitions to for eliminating nuclear weapons throughout the world. 
Kayashige was the first survivor to speak about her experience with the bombing. She was born in 1939 in the second district of Yokogawa town in Hiroshima City, one of six children. Before the bombing, Kayashige, her mother, and her four sisters left the city to join an acquaintance in a rural area to avoid the air raids. Even though they tried to avoid the air raids, they were still affected by it. 
On Aug. 6, 1945, Kayashige and her family were warned of the air raids that were taking place. Her mom and her eleven month old baby sister went to visit a relative’s home in the town of Itsukaichi, while her twelve-year-old sister Michiko was sent to get ice for the home refrigerator. The rest of her family was in different parts of the city when the bomb was dropped. 
Kayashige was knocked unconscious with the impact of the bomb. She said that she awoke on the soil of her uncle’s floor, and that everything was destroyed. Fortunately, her Uncle’s house managed to stay upright, but the houses around them had collapsed. Kayashige’s face, neck, and right arm were burnt from the heat of the atomic bomb. When Kayashige and her sister stepped outside of their home, they saw an old woman crying for help because she was trapped under a fallen stone wall. Her daughter-in-law tried to help her escape, but the wall was too heavy for one person to lift. Kayashige and her sister were directed by their aunt to stay while she found something to use to tie a child on her back, but Kayashige was so terrified of the other houses catching fire that she ran away.
The sister who was working at the construction site for school in Fuchu-cho was found by the father and brought home on a board by bicycle. Her back was badly burned and she was exposed to radiation as well. Maggots fed on the sister’s back and pressed against the nerves. Kayashige’s mother and other sisters picked the maggots by hands until she died. 
The family still does not know where Michiko, the twelve-year-old sister, died. Since they had no idea where to find her, Kayashige’s mother kept saying “I did a pitiful thing to her” for the rest of her life. 
At sixty nine years old, Kayashige still has marks from the atomic bomb blast on her body. A couple of years ago, there was a time where she lost her voice and was unable to do simple chores such as chop vegetables in the kitchen. She got examined by her doctor and the doctor found that the hormone level was low in her thyroid. She decided to submit a claim, and the Japanese government admitted that the disease was a result from experiencing the bombing. 
Yano Miyako was fourteen years old when the atomic bomb hit. On that morning, she felt sick and stayed at home, which was four kilometers south of the epicenter. When she was on the first floor of her house with her family, they saw a flash of light in the sky. The rest of the family except for Miyako (who stayed in the house), ran in the air raid shelter. 
Miyako was blown off the mat she was sitting on. She describes that after the blast, she saw a brilliant red circle. She described the mushroom cloud as mixture of “red, yellow, orange, and purple.” She added that the sky became really dark and hot which resulted in black rain pouring down.
The injuries that Miyako suffered during that atomic bombing include shards of broken glass in her legs, which she could not feel during that time because she was in panic. She had three pieces removed from her right leg a few years later, but there are still fragments in her left leg. 
Hearing about these devastating accounts affected students like Alice Mielke, who after attending the lecture said, “It is very important to see first–hand views of people that were actually there during the bombing. The radiation that was spread from the atomic bomb is still living with those people today, and people in the United States need to become fully aware of this.” Mielke, like others who attended the lecture, was able to get a small glimpse into the lives of these survivors. 
The goal of this lecture was to expand the discussion of nuclear war, its devastating impacts and the threat that it continues to pose. Jackie Cabasso, coordinator of Mayors for Peace North American, spoke out about the dreams of living in a nuclear weapon-free world. Cabasso presented ideas and options for involvement to stop the world from being infested with nuclear weapons. She pointed out, “Nearly 26,000 nuclear weapons still threaten our lives today.” It is the work of people such as Cabasso, Kayashige and Miyako that heighten awareness about nuclear warfare. For more information and how to get involved, visit these suggested websites: