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 She blogs at Kikugirl.net, and is working on a book project that responds to her father's unpublished manuscript about his Tule Lake incarceration during World War II.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

culture en

“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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identity en

A Lesson in Taiko—And Parenting

“Don doro don don, Don doro don don, Don doro don don, Don doro don don….”

Nine of us are onstage at the Tacoma Buddhist Temple, a bachi in each hand, each one with our taiko drum and stand. Our group is having a taiko demonstration and class from Wendy Hamai, one of the founding members of the Tacoma Fuji Taiko. The class had been arranged for my daughter and her Girl Scout troop, but Wendy asked us if we—the mothers—would be interested in playing, too.

And so there we were, three moms and five fourth grade girls ...

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identity en

To “Stand On Both Feet”: Cathy Tashiro and The Dimensions of Mixed Race Identity

Here is another story about being mixed: My friend Cathy and I were chatting a bit after yoga class. A classmate came up to us:

“Your name, Tamiko—hmm, that sounds Japanese.”

“I am half Japanese, actually,” I said.

Cathy and I looked at each other.

“Actually, we’re both part Japanese,” Cathy told him.

He looked at me, puzzled.

“I don’t see any Japanese in you…”

He studied Cathy again: “But you look Japanese.”

Cathy and I looked at each other again. Cathy smiled at him.

“Yep, we’re both part Japanese.”

Somehow, he didn’t seem satisfied ...

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community en

From Barbed Wire to Cherry Blossoms: Day of Remembrance 2015 in Washington State

This year’s Day of Remembrance began early for me, and—of all places—on social media. I read Densho’s request to change my Facebook profile picture to Frank Fujii’s logo “Ichi-Ni-San,” which was used for the 1978 Day of Remembrance in Seattle 1978, and changed mine on February 15th. It was heartening to see the profile pictures of a few other Japanese Americans that I know on social media; it was a gift of solidarity.

However, I also changed my cover photo—the larger image displayed prominently on my Wall—to a photo I’d taken last ...

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food en

A Tour of Japanese and Japanese “Fusion” Bakeries in Seattle

There’s something about pastries, the ephemeral pleasure of appreciating something small and sweet, or savory and crunchy. For immigrants, expatriates, and travelers, it can be a bittersweet pleasure to find a taste that evokes the memory of a place; it’s like a taste of both transience and home.

Small wonder that longtime Seattle locals still remember Sagamiya, the Japanese confectionery based in the ID, some thirty years after its closure in the 1970s. “In the day there were only three bakeries we bothered with,” says my friend Omar Willey, who grew up in Beacon Hill, which used to ...

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