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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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

A New Gateway to the Past: The Seward Park Torii Project in Seattle

A Southern friend of mine once told me that she moved to the West Coast because it was a place of destiny-making, a place where one could begin anew. But one of the first questions that she asked was, “Where do you all keep your history? Where is your Williamsburg?” If you’re from the West Coast, born and bred like me, the answer is “often deeply sedimented, less on display, often less carefully preserved.” Here, to me, the work of history often feels like the work of excavation in unexpected places.

The Torii in Seattle’s Seward Park, located ...

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food en

A North American Nikkei Explores South American Nikkei Cuisine

A set of chopsticks wrapped in bright ribbon, decorated with Portuguese words. A spray of pink cherry blossoms against a persimmon-red background. These two images open Luiz Hara’s cookbook Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way, published in 2015. They preview the content and sensibility of the book: a deep appreciation for Japanese elements in a South American environment.

Like his book’s subject, Hara contains multiple geographies and identities: Brazilian-born, Italian-Japanese descent, London supper club chef, Cordon-Bleu trained, ardent student of Japanese and French cuisine and chefs alike. Hara’s enthusiasm for his subject is clear in ...

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community en

The Secret “American Japanese” Garden in Seattle

On the way to downtown Seattle, there’s a freeway sign advertising a tourist attraction that’s always intrigued me: “Kubota Garden,” it says. I asked my friend, native Seattleite and Beacon Hill boy Omar Willey about it. “You’d know about it if you went to St. Paul school, which was the next block up,” he tells me, “but you could drive up Renton Ave. for years and never see it.” After years of living in the Pacific Northwest, I finally got to go see what the garden was all about. I wasn’t disappointed.

The Kubota Garden is ...

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culture en

Little Kunoichi Is Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved

A children’s book about a tiny ninja girl—do I need to say anything else? There are tiny watercolor ninjas hiding among cherry blossoms and scaling castle walls. There’s a marvelously detailed “I Spy” matsuri (festival) scene, filled with onigiri, taiko drums, sumo wrestlers, and characters from Japanese fairy tales. And there’s a family pet ninja bunny.

Overall, Seattle author and illustrator Sanae Ishida has been overwhelmed by the positive response to her book Little Kunoichi, published in April 2015 from Sasquatch Books. Inspired in part by a now-defunct Seattle store named Tiny Ninja, Little Kunoichi is ...

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community en ja es pt

The Feast that Makes a Family

There’s gravel crackling under our car wheels as we drive up my Auntie Nesan’s driveway. After we come to a stop, my husband Josh and I unbuckle our two little girls out of the backseat. We walk up to the house, trailing blankets and stuffed animals, and I tap on the screen door.

“Happy New Year! Come in!” my eighty-something aunt answers cheerily. After hugs and exclamations (“the girls are getting so big!”), we ask if we can bring anything over to Auntie Sadako’s house, about a hundred feet away. We leave carrying a platter of barbecued ...

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