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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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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Some Of My Favorite Nikkei Books, Part II: For Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers

After school this week, the kids at my daughters’ elementary school are rushing over to the library. They’re clutching wrinkled envelopes filled with checks and dollar bills and carefully counted change. They throw down their backpacks by the computers and head straight for cardboard booths. It’s book fair week.

As a librarian’s daughter, one of my favorite days growing up was the arrival of the book fair booths in the library at school. So this year, I volunteered to work at book fair, at my daughters’ elementary school. Because I knew I’d be writing more about ...

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Experiencing Seattle Opera’s An American Dream

The lights flicker once, and people begin to move from the lobby into a long line.

“Why all this drama?” the White woman behind me is asking. “They’ve never done this before, why are they going through our bags now? We have had enough of going through security.”

The Seattle Opera staff member, dressed in a sober maroon jacket, answers her. “It’s part of the pre-show experience,” she says. I look ahead to the long table, the security guards in black uniforms, the whitewashed picket fence, the barbed wire in front of the exhibits, and suddenly I know ...

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Some of My Favorite Nikkei and Japanese American Children’s Picture Books

Growing up in a family of voracious readers and three librarians, I was incredibly lucky to have books—almost as many as I wanted. I’ll never forget coming back from our trip to Japan to find that my auntie had left me the entire Anne of Green Gables series on my desk. One day I looked at our family bookshelf and realized that on a full shelf were loaned books that my dad had brought home from the university library where he worked as head of circulation. Some of the most precious books to me were ones that featured ...

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Pictures at an Asian American Exhibition: Roger Shimomura, “American Matsuri” at the Tacoma Art Museum

Prelude

I am thinking about what it means to be seen.


Entrance

Every October, the foyer and the main entrance to the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) are a riot of color, excitement, noise. There’s a sand painting just inside the main door. In the theater space a mariachi band is playing. Upstairs and around the museum, there are dozens of community altars with flowers, pictures and jewel-tone creations. Inside the craft rooms, my kids are painting sugar skulls; many of the kids’ faces next to them have been painted to look like skeletons. A long streamer of papel picado ...

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“Just Good Theater”: An Interview with Aya Hashiguchi Clark, Tacoma Actress and Producer

Aya Hashiguchi Clark is a Nikkei actress and producer who lives in my hometown of Tacoma, Washington. She and her husband recently founded Dukesbay Productions, a theater company devoted to “[presenting] theatrical works that reflect and celebrate our diverse society in the Pacific Northwest,” as well as showcase “local actors who represent a diversity of ethnicity, age, religious background, training/experience, and acting type.” I’m grateful that Aya was able to spend some time talking to me about her theater experience and her reasons for founding Dukesbay.

The following conversation is a lightly edited version of our online chat ...

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