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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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 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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Camp Memorials, Silence, and Restlessness: A Dialogue with Brandon Shimoda - Part 2

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May 15, 2017

Hi Brandon,

I wonder if we both answer questions by adding to them, by writing more into them, by turning them into something else.

Yes, very much so. Thank you for writing and responding so eloquently to “How It Feels to Inherit Camp.” And the ending is absolutely about historiography—for all of us to have the questions of writing history feel more transparent. I think one of the reasons that people don’t like history sometimes is because it feels concrete, set in stone (sometimes literally), a set of facts to memorize, rather ...

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Camp Memorials, Silence, and Restlessness: A Dialogue with Brandon Shimoda - Part 1

2017 has been a Year of Remembrance in the Japanese American community, commemorating 75 years since the signing of Executive Order 9066. Many Days of Remembrance events have been planned around the country, with more events to come. It’s a year that has made me wonder about the long-term effects of memorials and memory. For whom are memorials important? When are they useful? When are they unsatisfying?

I reached out to the Sansei/Yonsei writer Brandon Shimoda, who I’ve known from Twitter, to have a conversation about these issues, and more. Brandon is the author of several books ...

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Following the Path, Listening to Footsteps: A Day of Remembrance for Tacoma

I am thinking about paths, footsteps, gravel, listening, memory.

When I visited the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial wall a few years ago, I was fascinated by the architectural design details that I heard—all lovingly told by Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community president Clarence Moriwaki. The memorial is strategically placed next to the very same path where the first Japanese Americans walked on their way to the ferry terminal for their wartime forcible removal.

The memorial wall winds next to a gravel path. The gravel, Clarence said, was placed there on the path so that people could hear ...

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