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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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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‘Working With Communities And The People’: A Conversation With Yonsei Pastor Karen Yokota Love 

For a layperson, picturing a call into ministry might look like a voice from on high, literally calling someone to their service.

It wasn’t like that for Reverend Karen Yokota Love, who is a Yonsei pastor serving the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church in Seattle, Washington. In 2019 she was appointed the church’s first woman senior pastor in its 116-year history.

“[Going into ministry for me] was also about doing justice work,” Reverend Karen says now. “If we think about with Martin Luther King [Jr], …He was a pastor, a minister, right? And that basically was all about ...

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Giving with Gratitude: The Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund

“They were at a picnic in New Hampshire,” says Jean Hibino. Her Nisei parents were UC Berkeley students during World War II, and though they were imprisoned at Tanforan and then Topaz, their time in camp was brief. Thanks to the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, which operated from 1942 to 1946, Hibino’s parents and close to 3600 other Nisei college students were able to leave camp in order to finish their college education, many in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Eventually the Hibinos found “other Japanese American expats” on the East Coast, as Hibino calls ...

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The Way of the Nisei Artist: A Tribute to My Uncle, Hiroshi Kashiwagi

In 1993, I was at long choir rehearsal in college. My friend Marcy was taking Asian American Literature that semester, and during one of the breaks I glanced over at what she was studying.

The book was thick with small print, and was the first of its kind that I’d ever seen: an anthology of Asian American literature, called The Big Aiiieeeee! At the top of one side of the page was a title: “Laughter and False Teeth.” At the top of the opposite page was a name that startled me: Hiroshi Kashiwagi.

“That’s my uncle!” I said ...

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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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