Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column is a space for the Nikkei community to share stories through diverse writings on culture, history, and personal experience. The column will feature a wide variety of poetic form and subject matter with themes that include history, roots, identity; history—past into the present; food as ritual, celebration, and legacy; ritual and assumptions of tradition; place, location, and community; and love.

We’ve invited author, performer, and poet traci kato-kiriyama to curate this monthly poetry column, where we will publish one to two poets on the third Thursday of each month—from senior or young writers new to poetry, to published authors from around the country. We hope to uncover a web of voices linked through myriad differences and connected experience.

Logo design by Alison Skilbred

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Explosión

Este mes, nuevamente con la ayuda de la mamá de mi pareja (una artista nikkei nacida y criada en Perú), llegué a apreciar este poema por su intensidad, escrito por el poeta nikkei radicado en Lima, Perú, José Natsuhara. Una fuerte imaginería abunda a lo largo de este poema, lleno de imágenes impresionantes, de lo cotidiano a una mayoría de edad sobrenatural... Un poema al ataque. Disfruten...

—traci kato-kiriyama

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José Natsuhara es un poeta nikkei de Lima, Perú, director de la plataforma de poesía y humanidades Tríada Primate. Es director de la Colección Total …

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Recuerdo y laberintos

Este mes nos complace presentar a la poetisa y psicóloga peruana Kazuko Kikushima. Una vez más, la madre de mi pareja me ayudó a entender la belleza y profundidad de este poema, una conmovedora pieza que hace un llamado al recuerdo de un ser querido y las cosas que llamamos y soltamos en el laberinto de las relaciones complejas. ¡Disfruten!

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Kazuko Kikushima es psicóloga y comunicadora. Sus mayores referentes en la poesía son Jose Watanabe (Trujillo, Perú) y Gustavo Pereira (Punta de Piedras, Venezuela). En julio del 2017 publicó su primer poemario TATUAJES …

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Canciones

Este mes, nos complace presentar dos poemas en español de la poetisa peruana Doris Moromisato Miasato. Ella es ecologista, feminista y budista y estos dos poemas son hermosas canciones de homenaje, uno para su padre y otro para el famoso artista japonés Hokusai. De los recuerdos evocados a aquellos imaginados, su poesía se lee como una canción de lamento, inspiración y maravilla. Agradezco llevar conmigo estos poemas mientras comenzamos a dejar el verano por el otoño. También debo agradecer a Norma, la madre de mi pareja, que tiene como lengua materna el español y también es de Perú. Ella es …

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In memoriam...Jim Matsuoka

It is with my heaviest, yet most grateful heart that I present this poetic speech from our beloved Jim Matsuoka, who passed on towards the end of October. Jim meant so much to surely countless many and I am simply another person who benefited greatly from his presence in so many threads of my life.

He was a staunch supporter, attendee, and featured artist over literally all the years of Tuesday Night Cafe since its inception in February of 1999. He was a champion of my artistic work from my earliest days as a young poet, actor, and performance artist …

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Fruits of connection

Happy autumn, all! This month we feature organic farmer, artist, and Yonsei Memory Project co-founder, Nikiko Masumoto with a delicious set of poetry that reaches us from soil nurtured through the generations and welcomes “city cousins..into a relationship with the land.”

Nikiko was asking questions when penning this piece—“What will happen to our farm if people don’t remember what a succulent peach tastes like, or perhaps someone has never tasted one at peak ripeness? How can I help nurture connections with other yonsei and gosei whose ancestors farmed in the same countryside that I get to call home?” In particular …

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activiist dekasegi Doris Moromisato family Jim Matsuoka Jose Nakatsuhara Kazuko Kikushima Manzanar NCRR Okinawa peru Peru Pilgrimage poems poetry poets