We invite you to explore the history, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in our region and our nation.

Learn About Our Local History and Culture

Pre-WWII History of Japanese Pioneers in Bellevue
by Asaichi Tsushima (1952)

BelPres member Jana Robertson transcribed this amazing little local history book viewable on the Vintage King County Facebook page. Mr. Asaichi Tsushima came to America via Vancouver, Canada, in 1907. In 1908 at the age of thirty he moved to Bellevue, Washington, and settled in Hunts Point. Mr. Tsushima was recognized as an accomplished speaker and admired and respected as a scholar, humanitarian, and historian. He describes where, how and who lived in the Bellevue area and the tremendous changes that occurred. He recorded a history of some of the many hardships and disappointments as well as the accomplishments and encouragement from some good, friendly neighbors.

Most of his data was accumulated prior to World War II. Completion of the book was interrupted during the war when he was interned at Missoula, Montana, and in New Mexico. Upon his return to Bellevue in 1946, he resumed writing and finally finished the book, a remarkable undertaking, in 1952. To read the book, simply click on the cover page and scroll through the slideshow.

Stroll Through a Local Park

There are a few free public Asian gardens/parks locally to check out: Seattle Chinese Garden, Kubota Japanese Garden, and Daejeon Park (in honor of the Korean sister city of Seattle) all have really interesting histories.

Learn About National History

PBS Documentary Series: Asian Americans
Told through intimate personal stories, this five-part documentary series casts a news lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played in shaping the nation's story.

The Making of Asian America: A History
Watch this fascinating presentation by award-winning historian Erika Lee on her excellent book.  Scroll ahead to 4:50 for the start of the presentation.

Check Out News and Resources

Northwest Asian Weekly (Local PNW/Seattle Metro News)

The only weekly English-edition newspaper serving our local Asian community and covering local news affecting the community. It has one simple goal: to empower the local Asian community.

Asian American Christian Collaborative

Resources to encourage, equip, and empower Asian American Christians and friends of the Asian American community to follow Christ holistically.

Learn Through Story

Crying in H-Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

Review by Grace Brown

This tearjerker memoir is a candid mother-daughter story and the Korean food that binds them together in love and grief. The author is a biracial Korean American who finds connection with her immigrant Korean mother through the food they cook and eat together. Every food memory is a memory of and with her mother, especially as she walks with her mother through a terminal cancer diagnosis. "I would think of how my mother always used to tell me never to fall in love with someone who doesn't like kimchi... [it was] her very own way of saying 'You are what you eat.'" Indeed, as Michelle navigates life after her mother's death, it is the smell and taste of kimchi and other Korean food that provides comfort in her deep grief and guides her own identity formation as a Korean American woman.

I particularly resonated with this book in thinking of my own Korean mother who shows me and others her love through cooking and delicious food. This memoir is not easy to read, especially if you've walked closely with someone battling cancer; it is quite a sad book. But through the author's grief-stricken words, this book shows the complexities of the relationship between first generation immigrant mothers and their American daughters with food as the strong bridge and bond of love. Her story gave me hope that strong bridges can be made between people despite cultural differences and misunderstandings if we find common ground — maybe starting from even something as simple as food - from which to start building.