Laurie Iwami

Laurie Iwami is a Sansei who grew up on O’ahu, Hawai’i, attended college in New England, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of Stanford University, Laurie has worked in marketing and advertising for technology companies in Silicon Valley. In 2010, she started Feeding My Ohana (www.feedingmyohana.com) as a way to share friends’ and family recipes and to broaden the concept of "American" food. She hopes that ultimately Feeding My Ohana will help support programs that feed the hungry.

Updated May 2012

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Nikkei Chronicles #1: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Soba, Firecrackers and Home

Born in Hawaii and raised by Nisei parents, I grew up with a mixed plate of influences. My mother is Episcopalian, but her Issei parents were Buddhist. My Issei paternal grandfather was Catholic. My father, if anything, respects the traditions of the Hawaiians. Preparing for New Year’s is one of the clearest examples of how Japanese, Hawaii-Japanese, American and many other traditions and foods melded into a unique, yet shared Nikkei experience that continues to evolve as the community does.

Christmas Day meant going to the Episcopalian church to celebrate the birth of Jesus, presents, and the start of ...

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