Tamiko Nimura

Tamiko Nimura is a Sansei/Pinay writer, originally from Northern California and now living in the Pacific Northwest. Her writing has appeared or will appear in The San Francisco Chronicle, Kartika Review, The Seattle Star, Seattlest.com, the International Examiner (Seattle), and The Rafu Shimpo. She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II. 

Updated July 2012 

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“A Pacific Ocean For The Entire World”—The Panama Canal and Its Nikkei Ties to the Pacific Northwest

“The little package of questions for which your parents don’t have answers,” says Mizu Sugimura, “they will give to you.”

Sugimura is a visual artist and writer from Fife, Washington. She came of age in the 1970s, graduating from the University of Washington and going on to volunteer with the Asian Pacific Women’s Caucus and the redress campaign. Though many members on both sides of her Japanese American family were incarcerated during World War II, they never discussed their experience. Camp had unalterably shattered their sense of selves as Americans, which led to unanswered questions about their pride ...

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Vashon Island's Japan Festival

August 2019 marks the sixth year that I’ve been writing regularly for Discover Nikkei, and it’s wonderful to see the ongoing work of people, places, and events that I’ve written about before. For example, the City of Auburn, recently updated its efforts to commemorate the Pioneer Cemetery (which I wrote about here), where many Japanese American families are buried. Building on its successful restoration and dedication of the Hori Bathhouse (which I wrote about here), the Neely Mansion Association recently continued its storytelling efforts, honoring the Filipino farmers who also lived at the Neely farm with a ...

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An Open Letter In Support of the Tule Lake Resisters, 2019

In July-August 2019, the National Convention of JACL (Japanese American Citizens League) will be meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Up for consideration is Resolution 3, “A Resolution of the National Council of the Japanese American Citizens League Relating To Recognition and Apology to Tule Lake Resisters.” An earlier draft of this letter was sent to the National JACL Offices and the authors of the resolution.

Dear members of JACL,

I am a Sansei writing in support of Resolution 3, co-sponsored by the Pacific Northwest and Northern California/Western Nevada District Councils urging a resolution and apology to the Tule ...

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History, Unmoored: For Yasuko-san and Keiko-San

“Oh, this photo is evaporating. It needs to be copied right away,” says my friend Michael Sullivan.

We’re looking through a black and white photo album together, owner unknown. A mutual friend and antique collector has given us the album and asked us to look for the right place for it. Our friend bought it from a swap meet in Tacoma; the previous owner at the swap meet said that he found it at a Goodwill in Tacoma. (I would be happy to return the album to its rightful owners, if they read this piece.)

One of the photos ...

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Twenty Thousand Cranes And More: Stories Behind Washington State's Tsuru For Solidarity and Crystal City, Texas

Twenty thousand, and more.

As I type, twenty-five thousand origami cranes are being gathered in Austin, Texas. They’re going to be coming from approximately 150 locations all over: cranes have been shipped from California, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Missouri. Some are coming from overseas. And at least 12,000 are coming from Washington State, where I am writing.

In late March 2019, close to a hundred Japanese American activists will also be traveling from all over the United States. In conjunction with the Crystal City Pilgrimage committee, they will travel with the cranes and hang them at the Family ...

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