Stuff contributed by gasagasagirl

Death of an Origamist

Chapter One—Que Sera, Sera

Naomi Hirahara

For the past three days, Sachi Yamane was in heaven. Origami heaven, that is. Not only was she immersed in her most favorite pastime—folding square pieces of paper into three-dimensional sculptures, but she also was away from her everyday life of tending to gunshot wounds, battered women, and sick ...

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Twelve—Keep on Shining

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Eleven >>

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Eleven—True Confessions

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Ten >> We’re in my LAPD pal’s black-and-white. Officer Doug Brenner makes me sit in the back seat—it’s protocol—like I’m a common criminal, and unfortunately this isn’t the first time for me. You see, I’ve been under arrest in the past ...

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Ten—Following the Doc Martens

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Nine >> Some people, when faced with a crisis, go ballistic. They run around, their faces red and their voices bellowing. Others get stone cold. I’m in the latter category, which I guess is a good thing because I’m a PI. And right now on one of ...

How West L.A. Became a Haven for Japanese-Americans

Naomi Hirahara

Long Before It Was the Westside’s Ramen Epicenter, Sawtelle Boulevard Bustled with Japanese-Owned Nurseries and ‘Gardeners’ Colleges’

Excerpt from A Grave on Grand Avenue: An officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Naomi Hirahara

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Nine—The Last Selfie

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Eight >> “I’m a private investigator. Kevin Shirota,” I flash my license as if it really means something to a woman sitting behind a clear desk in the lobby of Fine Bank. This place is not like any financial institution I’ve ever been in. First of all ...

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Eight—She Cleans Houses, Doesn’t She?

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Seven >> “She was my friend. Perhaps my only friend.” Mrs. Yokoyama carefully enunciates each syllable. My fourteen-year-old daughter Maddy and I sit on a pure white fabric couch as we listen to the Japanese woman speak. Maddy, as usual, can’t stay still and I am worried that ...

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Seven—Do You Know the Way to Hancock Park?

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Six >> I stare at the message a second time. It’s printed out on a regular white letter-sized paper, the standard offering of any office store. The font is Helvetica, also totally nondescript. The content, however, is not anything typical. It’s a blatant threat, telling me to ...

Nikkei Detective

Chapter Six—Noguchi Verses

Naomi Hirahara

Read Chapter Five >> As I make my way to the Koban Visitors Center, First Street in Little Tokyo is hopping. And I don’t mean just the millenials lined up at Daikokuya ramen house. Couples pushing strollers and teenagers in cosplay. It’s a weekday evening in August. Those attempting ...

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Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of two mystery series set in Los Angeles. Her Mas Arai series, which features a Hiroshima survivor and gardener, has been translated into Japanese, Korean and French. Her first Mas Arai novel, SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, is currently being developed into an independent film. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper and curator of historical exhibitions, she has also published noir short stories, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction books, including TERMINAL ISLAND: LOST COMMUNITIES OF LOS ANGELES and two biographies for the Japanese American National Museum, including AN AMERICAN SON: THE STORY OF GEORGE ARATANI, FOUNDER OF MIKASA AND KENWOOD. Co-written with Heather Lindquist, a book on the struggles of Japanese Americans after being released from Manzanar concentration camp (LIFE AFTER MANZANAR) was published by Heyday Books in 2018. Her seventh and final Mas Arai mystery, HIROSHIMA BOY, was released the same year. Set to be released in September 2019, her new mystery, ICED IN PARADISE, will follow the adventures of Leilani Santiago, who operates her family’s shave ice business in Kaua’i. She received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University.

Nikkei interests

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

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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