Nancy Matsumoto

Nancy Matsumoto is a freelance writer and editor specializing in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food, arts, culture and health. She has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Time, People, Civil Eats, NPR’s The Salt, TheAtlantic.com and the online Densho Encyclopedia of the Japanese American Incarceration, among other publications. She is also the co-author of the book The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders: Supporting Self-Esteem, Healthy Eating & Positive Body Image at Home.

Twitter/Instagram: @nancymatsumoto

Updated June 2017

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Profile: James Mitsumori, one of Keiro Senior HealthCare’s Founding Fathers

Although a number of Nikkei and Asian eldercare organizations grew organically out of existing Japanese Issei “Pioneer” or community centers, church, or civic organizations, Keiro Senior HealthCare was different; it rose out of the vision and energy of a close-knit group of Nisei professionals.

Keiro founder, chairman of the board for 14 years and current board member James Mitsumori, 88, recently talked about those early days from his law office at Third and San Pedro Streets in Little Tokyo.

Keiro’s founding members—George Aratani, Edwin Hiroto, Kiyoshi Maruyama, Gongoro Nakamura, Frank Omatsu, Joseph Shinoda, Fred Wada and Mitsumori—began ...

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West Coast Nikkei Eldercare: Planning for New and More Diverse Systems of Care

Part I - Nikkei Eldercare in Los Angeles

My mother is in some ways a typical Southern California Nisei. She has participated in organized Nikkei ballroom dance, camera club, and widow’s groups. She plays marathon card games regularly with a group of Nisei friends, and travels the world on organized Japanese-American tours. A lot of her time also seems to be taken up arranging club dinners or luncheons, or the entertainment and door prizes that are an expected feature of these events.

Although my mother is healthy and sharp-minded, she is at the age where she and many of her friends are thinking about the prospect of ...

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Historian Linda Gordon’s new Dorothea Lange bio

I attended a fascinating discussion recently at the New York Public Library, featuring NYU history professor Linda Gordon in conversation with New Yorker writer Ian Frazier. The topic of discussion was Gordon’s extensively researched and beautifully written new biography, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (W.W. Norton & Co.).

Lange was a force of nature, a fiercely determined and ambitious woman who overcame a physical disability—a lame leg—to become a titan of documentary photography and a lifelong advocate for the dishonored and the neglected. Most famously, she chronicled the plight of migrant farm workers, southern sharecroppers and ...

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Reclaiming Photographs of the WWII Japanese-American Resettlement

I recently picked up a fascinating book, Lane Ryo Hirabayashi’s, Japanese American Resettlement Through the Lens: Hikaru Carl Iwasaki and the WRA’s Photographic Section, 1943-1945. Hirabayashi teaches in the Asian American Studies Department at UCLA, where he holds an endowed chair dedicated to research on and teaching about the Japanese American World War II internment, redress and other Japanese-American issues.

In Through the Lens, which Hirabayashi wrote with researcher Kenichiro Shimada, the authors brings to light the work of Hikaru Carl Iwasaki, a 19-year-old Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) photographer who was plucked out of the Heart Mountain, Wyo ...

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Manzanar Pilgrims Shine Light on Past, Current Injustices, Honor Forebears

On a sunny cold day in April, I boarded a bus in Little Tokyo, one of more than 1,500 people to make the 40th annual Manzanar pilgrimage.  Our destination was the remote Owens Valley World War II prison camp where my father and his family were placed behind barbed wire in April 1942.

Manzanar was one of ten euphemistically named “internment” camps authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt following the December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The nearly 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents of Japanese descent imprisoned in those camps until war’s end were ...

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