Stuff contributed by erikmatsu

Clark & Division: Japanese Americans on Chicago’s Near North Side, 1940s-1960s - Part 3

Erik Matsunaga

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Clark & Division: Japanese Americans on Chicago’s Near North Side, 1940s-1960s - Part 2

Erik Matsunaga

Read Part 1 >>

Clark & Division: Japanese Americans on Chicago’s Near North Side, 1940s-1960s - Part 1

Erik Matsunaga

Chicago’s Near North Side. In the early to mid-twentieth century it was a playground for the rich, transient stopover for the poor, home to beatniks, hippies, harlots, the Rush Street entertainment district and the Outfit. Historically a multi-ethnic stew, within its boundaries could be found Swede Town; German Broadway ...

Windy City Nikkei: Bite-sized glimpses of Japanese American Chicago

Erik Matsunaga

With a family of six and a full-time job, researching and writing full-length articles about family and community was becoming exceedingly difficult. However, the thirst to research our Chicago Nikkei community's past and present had not fizzled, as I feel it important to leave these stories for my kids ...

Jamie Dihiansan and Chicago Graffiti

Erik Matsunaga


Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Place / Location

Erik Matsunagatraci kato-kiriyama

This month, we feature just one writer and a beloved one to the Discover Nikkei space at that—Chicago native, Erik Matsunaga. Erik’s piece is a simple moment between old childhood pals and one that sets an image of “home” or places of significance that are, at once, transient ...

The Story Behind that YELLOW BROTHERHOOD Shirt

Erik Matsunaga

In the late 1960s, a group of Los Angeles Japanese American ex-gang members, many at the time either fresh out of correctional facilities or the military, came together to save a generation. They called themselves the Yellow Brotherhood, and organized to get at-risk Asian American youth off drugs and out ...

Chicago's Sansei Yonsei Athletic Association Basketball Clinic

Erik Matsunaga

Prior to WWII, there were roughly four hundred persons of Japanese ancestry living in Chicago. By 1945, there were twenty thousand, the majority of whom were ex-West Coast Japanese Americans resettled from various WWII U.S. War Relocation Authority concentration camps.

Something About My Great-Grandmother

Erik Matsunaga


Japanese Americans on Chicago’s South Side - Oakland/Kenwood 1940s-1950s - Part 3

Erik Matsunaga

Read Part 2 >>

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About

My Issei great-grandfathers emigrated from Japan at the turn of the 20th century and worked as itinerant farmers in California's Central Valley, their picture bride wives arriving some years later. My Nisei grandparents were born and raised in Fowler/Del Rey (roughly ten miles southeast of Fresno), were later unjustly evacuated to Gila River War Relocation Center, and permanently resettled in Chicago postwar. My Sansei father grew up in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, where he met my mother, a child of German immigrants; they lived a few blocks apart and attended the same grammar school. I was born in Chicago and, aside from a number of years in Los Angeles, continue to live in Chicago.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports

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