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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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

war en

It’s Not Just About History: Visiting the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

It’s hard to describe the shock of recognition when sepia history meets full-color present, when they can align so precisely. That’s one of the many gifts that the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial gives to its visitors.

We’re standing under a large vertically hung banner, a sepia photographic replica of people walking down a ferry dock. It’s a picture we know well, as a famous historic photo of the first wartime forced removal of Japanese Americans. Our tour guide, Lilly, is giving us a tour of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. We look up at ...

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culture en

The Circles of Bon Odori

Although I am not Buddhist, the circles of Bon Odori have always spoken to me. All the circles of dancers, all of their arms even raised in circles, mimicking the full moon. The round uchiwa fans, the strings of rounded lanterns bobbing slightly in the breeze, the circular heads of the taiko drums. Food, dancing, community, summer heat, celebration, reunion with the spirits of the ancestors—really, what more could you ask from a festival?

Obon is well-known in the Japanese American community as “a gathering of joy,” for good reasons. But it will always feel simultaneously painful, because my ...

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identity en

A Circuit Left Open: Thoughts from the Tule Lake Pilgrimage, 2014

How else to say this? I am still returning. I don’t know how the telling will ever feel complete. What no one told me about the pilgrimage, what no one could have prepared me for, is how much longer the return has been than the journey itself.

* * * * *

At 9 a.m. on July 5th, it’s already 86 degrees and stretching towards the day’s predicted high of 92. The heat, combined with the high altitude, 6,000 feet, is daunting enough for someone who’s acclimated to the Pacific Northwest. I’m on an air-conditioned bus, with comfortable ...

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media en

"Infinity and Chashu Ramen": An Interview With Filmmaker Kerwin Berk

Two spirits are roaming through San Francisco’s Japantown. They’re charged with setting the universe right. One’s a bright-eyed young lady named Lucy Yamaguchi; the other is a 400-year-old foul-mouthed, crotchety spirit named Tenshi. She’s new to the job; he should probably have retired a few centuries ago. Will they succeed?

That’s the premise of the comic indie film Infinity and Chashu Ramen, which is coming to the Seattle area in early September. One showing’s set for the Bainbridge Island Art Museum on September 6, and the other is scheduled at the Wing Luke Museum ...

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community en

The Fabric That Makes the Story: Interview with Dawn Yanagihara, Kiriko

Kasuri. Boro. Shibori. These words might not mean much to you if you don’t think very much about textiles or Japanese arts and crafts. But for Gosei Dawn Yanagihara, the words also represent a deep connection to her Japanese ancestry and the passion that helped her co-found her Portland-based company, Kiriko. The company uses Japanese textiles and heritage fabrics in order to create striking accessories that are meant to last a lifetime. I was able to speak with Yanagihara over e-mail. (* All images are courtesy of Kiriko’s website and Instagram.)

Can you tell us a bit more about ...

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