traci kato-kiriyama

traci kato-kiriyama is a performer, actor, writer, author, educator, and art+community organizer who splits the time and space in her body feeling grounded in gratitude, inspired by audacity, and thoroughly insane—oft times all at once. She’s passionately invested in a number of projects that include Pull Project (PULL: Tales of Obsession); Generations Of War; The (title-ever-evolving) Nikkei Network for Gender and Sexual Positivity; Kizuna; Budokan of LA; and is the Director/Co-Founder of Tuesday Night Project and Co-Curator of its flagship “Tuesday Night Cafe.” She’s working on a second book of writing/poetry attuned to survival, slated for publication next year by Writ Large Press.

Updated August 2013

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Wonder

To close out 2020 and recognize it as a time of challenge, reckoning and coming together, we are excited to end on a strong and beautiful note with this month's feature. We are happy to host the return to Nikkei Uncovered by Mariko Fujimoto Rooks and, this time, feature Mariko alongside her father, Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks (while it's his first time in this poetry column, he is certainly no stranger to Discover Nikkei). You'll want to check out essays from both of them on the Discover Nikkei site, but first - heed their collaborative piece, this intergenerational ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Moonlight

We have the immense pleasure of presenting several haiku from Boshichō Okamura for November. Ever since his grandson, Michael Okamura (of the Little Tokyo Historical Society), began sharing his haiku with me, I've dreamed of recreating a haiku club in Little Tokyo in homage to the Agosto-Sha poetry club that Boshichō co-founded in the early 1920s. No matter what time of year or moment of strife we are going through in the world, there's a wonderful light and solace I find through these poems. It is a great honor to share several haiku (alongside some great photographs) in ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Reflections

Hello to you all in the midst of October and the beginning of our final quarter for 2020. I’ve asked the folks we’re featuring this quarter to share pieces of reflection, whether of the immediate, or of a lifetime thus far. Today’s piece from San Francisco-based, Shin-Nisei, Yukiya Jerry Waki, is a look at many voices and stories over time that have crossed his path on a journey of moments, and memories made. Enjoy...

— traci kato-kiriyama

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Yukiya Jerry Waki works as an advocate for re-envisioning nutrition programs in schools. He moonlights as a spoken word artist, writer ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Inspiration

Hello Discover Nikkei network! I am beyond thrilled this month to bring this pair of poets to the Nikkei Uncovered poetry column. LA-born and raised, veteran Sansei poet and our inaugural feature for the column back in 2016, Amy Uyematsu returns to us with a beautiful piece about Tanko Bushi (that had me yearning ever more for Obon this summer). And first time with this column, we have National spoken world champ and hip hop artist, G Yamazawa out of Durham, North Carolina with one of my favorite pieces that I hope you all will have the pleasure of someday ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

What we hold - Part Two

Over the past several years, Vigilant Love (an organization working towards safety and justice of communities impacted by Islamophobia and violence), has hosted a community Iftar bringing together hundreds of Muslim, Japanese American and other LA community members in the spirit of many years of solidarity practice between our communities. This was the first year the program had to be virtual due to Covid-19, but over 170 people still came together for the online breaking of the fast. I had the great honor of working with Vigilant Love’s Solidarity Arts Fellows to collaborate and support their group performances. We ...

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