Chiori Santiago

Former editor of Nikkei Heritage, the magazine of the National Japanese American Historical Society.

Updated 2009

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Nikkei Heritage

Jose Nakamura: The first Nikkei in American Baseball

As World War Two came to an end, Japanese Americans began the slow process of moving from internments camps to rebuild lives in the Midwest, along the West Coast and across the country. They re-established farms and businesses, found jobs in neighborhoods where they’d once been strangers. Yet in one field of endeavor, Japanese American faces were noticeably absent. No Asians were among the line-ups in one of America’s more popular sport—baseball.

“There was just one,” says 80-year-old Jose Nakamura Homma, reminiscing in the neat parlor of his modest home near Colon, Cuba. He holds up one ...

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Nikkei Heritage

The Spirit of African Peru

Almost every day, as she walked to school through the old section of Chorillos, Peru, Gabriela Shiroma could hear the drums, calling in the voice of Africa. Their rhythms floated through an open window and into the street, their deep chorus reverberating within her chest and flirting with her own heartbeat. She knew she shouldn’t listen, but she always did.

“I always would wonder what was happening in that house, but I was forbidden to find out. I was raised with the mentality: ‘don’t get involved with Peruvians,’ especially blacks. But every time I heard the drums I ...

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