Kate Iio

Kate Iio was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Her father was born in Japan, her mother was born in Taiwan, and has an older sister, and two dogs. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019 and is currently teaching English in Japan through the JET Program.

Updated July 2019

community en

Power of Our Stories

50 Objects, 50 Stories: The Untold Stories of Incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII

“50 Objects/50 Stories of the American Japanese Incarceration” is a project made up of 50 objects that each give a raw, true narrative of the exclusion and confinement of 120,000 American Japanese during World War II. Objects owned by families, museums, and educational institutions have been researched, reviewed, and compiled to create a well-rounded representation of individual experiences in the internment camps. Stories that have gone untold for years are now presented in various forms of media such as articles, videos, and audios.

I interviewed Nancy Ukai, the Lead Project Director, to learn about her creation and overall ...

Read more

community en

“Chapters” by Trevor Allred: The Power of Storytelling

Trevor Allred is a founding part of Heritage Future, a nonprofit organization dedicated to storytelling as a tool for community betterment, and a moderator on the Creative + Cultural podcast. In “Chapters,” a five-part podcast series dedicated to stories surrounding the exclusion, forced removal, and incarceration of Japanese Americans with a paralleled narrative thread through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), he interviewed the following historical and active figures in the community offering multiple backgrounds and perspectives to the issue.

  • Mary Adams Urashima provides an environmental justice background through her preservation efforts to save the Furuta Goldfish Farm and Wintersburg Japanese ...

Read more

culture en

Finding His Identity: Mark Nagata on Being a Sansei and Kaiju vs Heroes

Currently featured at the Japanese American National Museum is Mark Nagata’s Kaiju vs Heroes exhibition. Mark Nagata is a third-generation, Japanese American artist who was inspired by the Japanese kaiju toys from his childhood to pursue a career in freelance illustration and eventually start his first toy company called Max Toy Company. His work has left a lasting imprint on the Japanese community, but also his own identity.

As a Sansei, Mark’s upbringing deviated from traditional Japanese culture so he never really considered himself as Japanese. Growing up in the 1970s with his two older sisters, Mark remembers ...

Read more

identity en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #7 — Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

My Nikkei Tradition

Ever since I was six years old, my mom and dad always took my older sister and I to the Nisei Week festival in Little Tokyo of Downtown Los Angeles. I remember my parents buying my sister and I fresh dango and korokke for the first time from one of the many vendors lined up along the village. The sweet sauce from the dango followed by the savory tonkatsu sauce from the korokke went so perfectly hand-in-hand that it became my family’s annual snacking tradition at Nisei Week.

As my family and I roamed around the village, taking in ...

Read more