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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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

community en

Behind the Tadaima! Scenes with Kimiko Marr of Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages 

I met Yonsei Kimiko Marr through social media and an online network of Japanese American activists and pilgrimage organizers. The network has become so active that over the last few years, I forget that we’ve never met in person. So perhaps it’s perfect that this virtual connection led me to this conversation with Kimiko over e-mail, as she’s in the middle of a massive online undertaking in Summer 2020: Tadaima! an online series of events (both live and prerecorded) intended as a virtual pilgrimage for the Japanese American community.

According to the website, Tadaima! is “a collaborative ...

Read more

education en

Keywords For Being Nikkei In A Moment of Racial Reckoning

“I recognized that the heartbeat, historically, of racism, has been denial.”

— Ibram Kendi 

Brokenness.

There are times to write normality and there are times to write brokenness. Feeling the need for something as it was—“normal”— the essay I wanted to write used a straightforward reporting style, journalism, objectivity, neutrality. This style is what we’re accustomed to as “normal.” It’s mid-2020. These times are both normal and broken, and some ways were always broken. This essay objected to the idea of objectivity and neutrality in writing. This essay insisted that it be written instead. 

Here are some of ...

Read more

culture en

Persimmon and Frog: Reading a Kibei-Nisei Tacoma Artist's Journey

In 2014, I had visited Tacoma artist Fumiko Kimura in order to profile her for a retrospective exhibition at Tacoma Community College. Kimura’s story and artistic journey fascinated me. When I met her, she was a Kibei-Nisei artist in her 80s. Last year, she celebrated her 90th birthday. She is a Kibei who did not experience wartime incarceration, who began her professional life as a chemist before transitioning into artmaking, who pursued an artist’s life successfully in addition to marriage and motherhood, who combined Western and Japanese art making techniques freely, and who co-founded the Puget Sound Sumi ...

Read more

community en

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Learning From the Issei Grandfather I Never Met

“What you are feeling is grief,” says the article from Harvard Business Review. And yes, living in COVID-19 in Washington State, March 2020 feels like a kind of grief, even though I have grieved before. But the waking up to a profoundly altered reality each day, each wave a fresh infusion of loss, or a looming reminder of losses to come—grief feels like an appropriate description.

Honestly, the way that I dealt with grief in the past was to avoid. I avoided through hyperactivity, through overachievement, anything to avoid feeling grief. Learning the skill of grieving has really taken ...

Read more

community en

‘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 ...

Read more