Submissions for Itadakimasu 2! closed on September 30. Thank you very much to everyone who submitted stories!

Read the Itadakimasu 2! stories and help select the Nima-kai community favorite >> 

The last day to vote is OCTOBER 25, 2017.

Nikkei Chronicles #6: Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture

Nikkei Chronicles #6: Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture

Of all the Nikkei Chronicles series we’ve hosted so far, the first one—ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture—remains the most popular. There seems to be no end to stories that revolve around food, and our contributors and readers around the world were eager to share and read them.

In response to popular demand, we are bringing back this beloved theme for the 2017 edition of Nikkei Chronicles. Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture will revisit the role of food in Nikkei culture. How does the food you eat express your identity? How does food help to connect your community and bring people together? What kinds of recipes have been passed down from generation to generation in your family?

As always, we are interested in publishing a wide range of texts exploring these and many other questions and issues related to food. We invite you to submit personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, restaurant reviews, and other prose works that share your perspectives on and experiences with food. (Please note that for this series, poems are not accepted.) It is our hope that by sharing the multitudes of Nikkei stories, we enhance our ability to better understand who Nikkei are.

All stories submitted to Nikkei Chronicles 6: Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture that meet the project guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the Itadakimasu 2 series. Authors may submit multiple entries.

Submissions will be accepted from May 1 until September 30, 2017, at 6 p.m. PDT.


All stories submitted for Itadakimasu 2 that meet the project guidelines will be eligible for selection as the Nima-kai community favorite. Vote for your favorites by logging in and giving them a “star.” Four additional stories (one each in English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese) will be selected by the editorial committee. Selected articles will be featured and translated into Discover Nikkei’s other site languages.

Editorial Committee

Writing Prompts

The following questions, many of which were posed in the first ITADAKIMASU call for submissions, may help to spark some thoughts as you prepare your submission.

  • What is your favorite Japanese dish and why?

  • Is Japanese food part of your community festivals, holidays, or family traditions?

  • How has your family adapted Japanese recipes to fit local ingredients & tastes?

  • What kinds of food are available where you live? Which of these do you like best?

  • What food reminds you most of your childhood?

  • Did you grow up eating something that you can’t get anymore?

  • What is your take on fusion food found in restaurants?

  • How has Nikkei farming and agriculture influenced food or other industries around the world?

  • How were Nikkei food businesses developed?

In addition to personal reminiscences, we also encourage historical and research-based essays. Recipes are accepted, but they must be accompanied by a story or background information on why the recipe is meaningful to you or why you are compelled to share it within this forum. If you have a question about whether your idea or topic is appropriate for this project, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Explore the stories published in Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Submission Guidelines

In order to include your story in the Itadakimasu 2 project, please review the following instructions:


All submissions must be related to Nikkei experiences, history, and/or culture. Articles must meet the following length, format, and languages criteria:

  • Accepted writing formats: Personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genres. For this particular project, we are not accepting poetry or video submissions.

  • Accepted languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese

  • Length: English, Spanish, and Portuguese articles should be about 600–1,500 words. Japanese articles should be about 800–2,200 characters.

  • Foreign words should be italicized.
    For example: My tio Frank made a bento for lunch.

  • All articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. We will NOT accept PDF or printed copies.

  • Previously published works are ok with copyright permission cleared by the author, but your submission cannot be previously published on Discover Nikkei. All copyrights for the piece will remain with the copyright owner, but upon submission, permission is granted to Discover Nikkei to publish the work on our website and with any other publication (electronic or print) in collaboration with the Itadakimasu 2 project.

Note: If you have other types of Nikkei-related stories that don't fit within the Itadakimasu 2 project theme, you can still submit them! Check out our regular Discover Nikkei Journal submission guidelines.


For this series, applicants MUST submit at least 1 photo to illustrate your story.

  • .jpg or .gif files—150 dpi, at least 1200 pixels wide preferred. If you do not have the capability to resize the image, send us the large file and we will do it.

  • Only submit images for which you either own copyrights or have secured permission to use for this purpose.

  • Provide a caption and/or photo credit for each image if necessary.

  • Do not include images within the Word file. Send image files separately.


  • Submit a short 3–5 sentence bio written in the same language of the article that you are submitting.

  • Send a portrait of the author as a .jpg or .gif file at 150dpi, at least 500 pxl x 500 pxl. The photo will be cropped to a square image. If you do not have the capability to resize or crop the image, send us the file and we will crop the image for you.

  • Articles written by multiple authors are accepted. In this case, please submit a bio and portrait separately for each author.

Deadline for Submissions

The deadline for submissions will be rolling: May 1, 2017 until September 30, 2017 at 6 p.m. (PDT). Stories will be published on Discover Nikkei beginning in June, so don’t wait until the end to submit!

Multiple submissions are accepted; however we only accept email submissions.


Thanks to Jay Horinouchi for designing our Itadakimasu 2! logo, and our wonderful volunteers and partners who help us review, edit, upload, and promote this project!

Disclaimer: By submitting your story, you are granting Discover Nikkei and the Japanese American National Museum permission to post your article and images on, and potentially other publications in print or online affiliated with this project. This includes any translations of your work in association with Discover Nikkei. You, the writer, will retain copyright. Check Discover Nikkei’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more details.