Kathy Nishimoto Masaoka

Kathy Nishimoto Masaoka was born and raised in multicultural Boyle Heights. The Vietnam War and Asian American Studies at UC Berkeley became important influences on her values and direction as she came of age during the late ’60s. Since 1971, she has worked on youth, workers, housing in Little Tokyo, and redress issues. Currently Co-chair of the Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR), she works with the Education Committee, Nikkei Progressives, and Vigilant Love Coalition to build solidarity and support for Muslims and others impacted by discrimination. Married to Mark Masaoka and has a daughter, Mayumi, and a son, Dan.

Updated September 2017 

culture en

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Mothers—affection, lost & found

This month, we take a somewhat different turn, in presenting some prose from longtime community organizer and LA-native, Kathy Nishimoto Masaoka, and a piece meant for the spoken word stage from Hawai‘i-born/Torrance-raised educator, Kurt Yokoyama-Ikeda. They both sent in pieces about their mothers and I found a yearning, discovery, and ode to their affection, however uniquely expressed over time. The pieces left me hoping they will continue to write and explore even more even about their mothers and how we find and express affection…enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Kathy Nishimoto Masaoka was born and raised in multicultural Boyle Heights ...

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community en

Watershed Moment in Japanese American Civil Rights History: Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, commonly called the Commission Hearings of 1981

Back in 1981, VC (Visual Communications) and NCRR, then known as the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations, worked very closely together to record the events and activities of the campaign to win redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated in camps during World War II. People like Duane Kubo and Steve Tatsukawa, two of the early staff of VC, had participated in the fight against redevelopment in Little Tokyo and helped to link the work of VC to what was happening in the community. As active members of NCRR as well, they helped to gather VC volunteers to film all three ...

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