Kyra Karatsu

Kyra Karatsu was born and raised in Santa Clarita, CA. She is currently a first-year Journalism student at College of the Canyons in Valencia, CA and hopes to transfer to a university after the completion of her AA degree. Kyra is a Japanese-German Yonsei and enjoys reading and writing about the Asian American experience.

Updated January 2021

food en

Zoom & Zoni: How the Nikkei Community Celebrated the New Year

To put it simply, Oshogatsu looked a little bit different this year.

Maybe our kitchens lacked the same hustle, bustle, and lively commotion of the years prior. Or perhaps our ozoni was missing just that one special ingredient that tied it all together.

Whatever the case may be, welcoming in this New Year was certainly an unusual experience.

Oshogatsu, or the Japanese New Year, is a celebration of food, tradition, and—at its core—family. Found in both Japan and global Nikkei communities, Oshogatsu is considered to be one of the most widely-anticipated holidays for many families.

What defines Oshogatsu ...

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identity en

The Commodification of Asian Americans

It is strange to be a commodity.

When I was younger, I didn’t like the fact that I was Asian. Even as someone who is half-Japanese, I still found myself envying the thick, blonde curls of my favorite Disney princesses. I wished that I wasn’t so dark-skinned or tan easily so I could look more like my childhood friends. And I wished that my last name didn’t sound so foreign and feel strange on the tongues of teachers and classmates. I was never very Asian-presenting, and I have accepted that I never will be. But it was ...

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