Nikkei Chronicles #8 — Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

The word “hero” can mean different things to different people. For Nikkei Chronicles 8—Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, Inspiration, we want to explore the idea of a Nikkei hero and what it means to a variety of people. Who is your hero? What is their story? How have they influenced your Nikkei identity or your connection to your Nikkei heritage?

We invite you to submit your stories, essays, and other prose works. Subjects must be Nikkei or have some meaningful connection to the Nikkei community. Authors may submit multiple entries. Submissions will be accepted from May 1 until September 30, 2019, at 6 p.m. PDT. All stories submitted that meet the project guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the Nikkei Heroes series.

For more information, visit 5dn.org/heroes.


Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series:

#1: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture
#2: Nikkei+ ~ Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race ~
#3: Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?
#4: Nikkei Family: Memories, Traditions, and Values
#5: Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture
#6: Itadakimasu 2!: Another Taste of Nikkei Culture
#7: Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

war en

Medal of Honor Heroes: Daniel Inouye and Joe Sakato

Heart Mountain, Wyoming, 1943. My uncle Kenney Miyake visited us. Uncle Kenney is my mother’s brother. They were born in Portland, Oregon. He wore the uniform of the 442nd Infantry Battalion.

He reached into his travel bag and showed me his Army 45, a monster gun in my little hands. On his uniform was a medal, a Purple Heart because he was wounded in Italy. I wanted to wear a uniform just like my Uncle Kenney. I wanted to be a soldier, but I was only three years old.

After Heart Mountain, during my childhood, boys liked to ...

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community en

Bill Hosokawa: Out of the Frying Pan

He sat in his special chair, a blanket covered his knees, the sun warming him. Around him lay the ruins of five newspapers. His morning task was complete now, he had checked on the world. He wanted to see how newspapers covered the same stories. At the end of a remarkable career, he was still the ultimate journalist.

Bill Hosokawa was in the ninth decade of life, his 70th as a journalist. Shortly, he would move to Seattle to live with his daughter. Life began in Seattle 92 years ago, and, like the storied salmon, he would return and ...

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war en

Second Hand War Stories

In the 17 years I was able to spend with my grandfather, Herbert Seijin Ginoza, he rarely told me about himself. Most stories I heard were told second hand, by my father or great-aunts and uncles. But the stories I heard, I remembered. He would have been reluctant to be called a hero, but to me, that’s what these stories made him. When he died, I worried that his stories would die too. That’s why, one afternoon in the middle of a power outage, I sat down to interview my father, Otis Ginoza, and to record his version ...

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sports en

The ‘Mightiest Duck’ of Them All, Paul Kariya

ANAHEIM, Calif. — In 1992, Walt Disney Pictures released the first in a trilogy of sports comedy/drama films called, The Mighty Ducks. A year later, Disney founded the NHL franchise team The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

With its inception at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, the team selected their first ever pick, a young talented Japanese Canadian from North Vancouver, B.C., Paul Kariya. He was fourth overall in the draft and playing for the University of Maine. This would queue the opening scene to a dramatic hall of fame career. Following a World Championship gold medal and Olympic Games ...

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identity en

My Hero: Setsutaro Hasegawa

By the time I was born in the early 1960s, the long shadow of World War Two was starting to fade. The 1950s and ’60s saw wave after wave of immigrants arrive in Australia but almost no Asians or Japanese. The white Australia policy still prevailed and if the colour of my skin was anything to go by it succeeded, however I still had my Japanese name.

My father was born Raymond Taro Hasegawa, son of Leo Takeshi Hasegawa and grandson of Setsutaro Hasegawa (ST Hasegawa), a Japanese immigrant to Australia who had arrived in 1897 prior to federation and ...

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