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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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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Taking Tacoma's Japantown Online

“I live on the edge of Tacoma’s historic Nihonmachi and as I crossed it on my way to downtown, I often wondered what stories lay dormant in the vacant, grassy lots. Today, between the empty slope and the massive convention center, who could know there was once a thriving Japan Town there?” 

—Tony Gomez, Education Director, Broadway Center of Tacoma

How can you show people entire neighborhoods that have vanished? In our smartphone day and age, as they say, there’s an app for that.  

In February 2017, to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 ...

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"Witness to Wartime" and The Hope of Another Spring - The Long-Hidden Work of Issei Artist Takuichi Fujii

The women were standing just about eye level with me, their faces sketched on the wall by Issei artist Takuichi Fujii. They were standing in front of barracks at Minidoka, but in the picture they seemed—and felt— at an arm’s length away. One woman had her hand up to her face, as if wiping away tears. The other woman had her hand covering her mouth, the kind of involuntary gesture you make when your breath is taken away, when you want to stop yourself from crying.

These are the women I was facing as I walked into the ...

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A Day of Remembrance to Remember in Puyallup, Washington

September 4, 2017 was the first day of the Washington State Fair. For the Seattle-area Japanese American community and allies (and beyond) it was a commemoration, a reunion, a pilgrimage. And with close to 1500 attendees, it was the biggest Day of Remembrance I’ve ever seen.

I’ve parked my car and I’m walking next to the Washington State Fairgrounds—though I’ve lived in Washington for almost twenty years, this is my first visit to the Fair. Along the path to the main entrance, there is a stream of volunteers, greeting people there for the Puyallup Day ...

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A Remarkable Nisei Love Story: Tacoma’s Kimi and George Tanbara

In past columns for Discover Nikkei, I’ve written about the challenges of finding Japanese American history in Tacoma. I know that, as with so many stories of Japanese Americans, there is much more to tell. So it was a pleasure and an education to be at Dr. George Tanbara’s life celebration on August 5, 2017. The Tanbaras represent an important part of Tacoma’s Japanese American history: not only before the war, but in their resettlement and community service. Although I did not know the Tanbaras well, I write this as a respectful tribute to them, using their ...

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A Chiura Obata Painting Comes “Home” to Topaz

“It feels right,” says Jane Beckwith, director of the Topaz Museum in Utah. “It feels like the painting is coming home.” She is talking about a new donation, a Chiura Obata work coming to the Topaz Museum from Bainbridge Island in Washington State.

How Obata’s painting reached Bainbridge Island, and who donated it, is still a mystery.

Every year, the Bainbridge Island Rotary holds an auction and rummage sale. The event began in 1960, to purchase land for the Bainbridge Public Library, and has grown to be large and successful, fundraising close to $8 million over the years since ...

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