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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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


Bringing the Worlds of Nihonjin and Nikkeijin Together: An Interview with Lynne Kutsukake

A Japanese schoolgirl with an older sister who goes missing. A Japanese Canadian classmate who is willing to help the first girl with her search by writing a letter. A Japanese American Nisei translator working under General MacArthur who reads their letter and decides to take action. The lives of these characters (and more) intersect in the post-WWII occupied Tokyo of Lynne Kutsukake’s novel, The Translation of Love (2016). It’s a book that skillfully gathers disparate characters under the profound question, “How should a man live?”

A former librarian, Kutsukake’s Japan is rendered in exacting detail, from ...

Read more

identity en

Wabi-Sabi Stitches: Sanae Ishida’s Path to Sewing Happiness

“I’d like to think that this isn’t your typical sewing book,” says Nikkei author Sanae Ishida in her latest book, Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well. The book chronicles her path from exhaustion and illness resulting from overwork to a “real, joyful, unpolished, but meaningful” life.

For fans of Ishida’s children’s book Little Kunoichi, this second book may come as a bit of a surprise; it’s part memoir, part “lookbook” for sewing inspiration, and part instruction manual. Much like Ishida’s own sewing blog, this book is a hybrid that somehow ...

Read more

community en

For the Sake of the Ancestors and the Children: The “Small But Mighty” Work of the Camp Harmony Committee

Every September, thousands of people “do the Puyallup.” For Washington State residents it’s an opportunity to visit the State Fairgrounds, ride the rollercoasters, listen to concerts, and eat scones with raspberry jam.

For other visitors, including the Camp Harmony Committee (CHC), the memories and associations with the site are not always so pleasant. During World War II, the site housed over seven thousand Japanese Americans, serving as a detention center for Nikkei evacuated from Alaska, Seattle, Tacoma, and surrounding rural areas. It became known as “Camp Harmony,” nicknamed by army public relations officials. For these visitors, a corner of ...

Read more

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 ...

Read more

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 ...

Read more