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In If the Shoe Fits: A Newsei’s Guide to Japanese Wisdom, Rev. Clarence Higa offers a loving, light-hearted look at the rich backstory of Japanese-American culture. As a Buddhist minister in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, Rev. Higa often finds himself asked the meaning behind customs passed down through the generations: Why is it bad form to poke your chopsticks into a bowl of rice? Why do we eat mochi at New Year’s? Why shouldn’t you cut your fingernails at night? With an incisive sense of humor, Rev. Higa unravels the hows and whys of Japanese traditions for the benefit of what he calls “Newsei”—the generations of Japanese Americans born after their Issei and Nisei forbears.
Throughout Rev. Higa’s youth, his father often received omiyage (gifts) of anpan, although years later he confessed that he hated the sweet bean pastries. “Why didn’t my father tell people that?” Rev. Higa wondered. “His answer lived with me forever: ‘It isn’t the gift that is cherished, but the thought behind it.’ And it was that bit of legacy that encouraged me to write this book. I had a compulsion to compile my own wayward wisdom for the benefit of others—so that one day you can explain to your own children why you do things in that idiosyncratic way.”
This type of book can be created with the ‘Ohana Package or Professional Package. Illustrations were provided by the author.
If the Shoe Fits is available via our online store, local bookstores and via online booksellers.
Cover and sample pages from the interior: