Mia Nakaji Monnier

Mia Nakaji Monnier is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. She was born in California to a Japanese mother and American father, and has lived in eleven different cities and towns, including Kyoto, Japan; small town Vermont; and suburban Texas. To contact her or see more of her work, visit mianakajimonnier.com

Updated July 2015

culture en

From Crenshaw to Deerhorn: An Interview with Nina Revoyr

My first introduction to Nina Revoyr’s writing was through her 2003 novel, Southland, a story of love, family, and hopes interrupted by forces of hysteria and racial hatred. Told from multiple perspectives during 1994, WWII, and the Watts Riots, Southland shows readers a Los Angeles of shifting borders and poignant history.

All of Revoyr’s four novels share an incorporation of regional history, atmospheric prose, and complicated layers of race and sexuality that the author never treats with a heavy hand. The most remarkable aspect of Revoyr’s writing, though, is the warm, steady voice she allows her narrators ...

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identity en

Lost and Found: Amy Hill on Adoption and Identity

In the last two and a half decades, Amy Hill has owned a Hawaiian fruit stand, tried in vain to dissuade her elderly father from becoming a Japanese porn star, and provided scientific aid to a teenage secret agent. Oh, and she’s also an actress.

In addition to the above roles in Lilo and Stitch, Paul Kikuchi’s Wrinkles, and the Disney Channel’s Kim Possible, Hill has appeared on Glee, Law and Order, Frasier, Seinfeld, and General Hospital. Her voice graces a range of animated films and TV shows, from American Dad to Avatar, from King of the ...

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identity en

Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Generation Teas

In the Japanese American National Museum Store lives a five-generation family of teas, dressed in colorful labels, snuggling tin-to-tin on the shelf they call home. This flavorful family is the realization of Maria Kwong’s more-than-a-decade-long dream to bring custom tea to the National Museum. For Maria, the Museum’s Director of Retail & Visitor Services, it had been a dream delayed by the challenge of finding a tea company willing to produce blends in quantities small enough to suit the Museum’s needs.

When Los Angeles tea retailer Chado moved into the Museum’s Terasaki Garden Café space in 2008 ...

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community en

Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

Reflections on Alexandra Wallace and the "Remember Pearl Harbor" Gang

In one weekend, a video posted by UCLA student Alexandra Wallace exploded all over YouTube, spurring responses in only a matter of hours, ranging from public service announcement-type videos made by concerned fellow students to lighthearted spoofs and angry retorts—even to videos and comments more ignorant and hateful than Wallace’s original.

Wallace initially posted the video on her own YouTube channel then removed it, only for it to be replaced soon after by numerous clones. The video is a rant about the “hordes of Asians that UCLA accepts into [her] school every year” distracting other students in the ...

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culture en

Their Struggles Are Our Struggles - Part 2

>> Part 1

Nakamura is a Yonsei with a passion for music, sports, and storytelling. At 30 years old, he has already created a trilogy of documentaries on the Asian American Movement that comprises Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007), and A Song for Ourselves (2009). His current project is a film about rising ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro.

The son of renowned filmmakers Robert Nakamura and Karen Ishizuka, Nakamura grew up in Culver City where he attended the Senshin Buddhist Temple, played Japanese American basketball, and participated in the Boy Scouts with a group that gathered at the Venice Buddhist Temple. Meanwhile ...

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