Stuff contributed by ksakai

Koji's Column

An Asian American President?

Koji Steven Sakai

This year’s presidential election is exciting because for the first time in our history, a woman or a person of color has a real shot of being President of the United States. I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime. All of this excitement has got me ...

Koji's Column


Koji Steven Sakai

Besides Groundhog’s day, my favorite holiday is New Year’s. I look forward to it every year. I always forget though that most people just think it’s a day to watch football. For those who don’t know, New Year’s or “Oshogatsu” in Japan is the most ...

Koji's Column


Koji Steven Sakai

When I was a child, I wouldn’t eat anything that I thought was too “weird,” at least to my American sensibility. Of course, natto fell into that category. For those of you who don’t know, natto is fermented soybeans. Yes, fermented. It sounds about as appetizing as it ...

Koji's Column

Traveling Japanese / American

Koji Steven Sakai

The best thing about being Japanese American is the travel benefits. When I leave North America and travel anywhere in the world, I can choose to be either Japanese or American depending on the political situation in that country at the time.

Koji's Column

To the guy that bothered me at the mall

Koji Steven Sakai

Since we are both humans, I assure you we are the same. The same DNA, RNA, and cells. If not exact copies, close replicas. Then what is it about me that causes you to treat me differently than one of your own?

Koji's Column

My Grandfather: Takaichi Sakai

Koji Steven Sakai

He burned sensitive files while working for a foreign government. He said that he was not willing to fight for the United States and would not give up his allegiance to a foreign power during a time of war. He renounced his American citizenship. Who was this enemy of the ...

Koji's Column

When I was a Kid…

Koji Steven Sakai

When I was a kid, I remember thinking the world was almost perfect. I assumed that by the time I became an adult, we would have solved all the major problems humanity has ever faced – sickness, war, poverty, and racism.

Koji's Column

Are you a true JA?

Koji Steven Sakai

Since I’m yonsei (fourth generation) and work at the Japanese American National Museum, I’ve been asked on many occasions to explain what it means to be Japanese American (JA). I’ve always struggled with this. How do you explain an entire culture without boring the questioner to death ...

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Koji Steven Sakai has written two feature films that have been produced; Haunted Highway and The People I’ve Slept With.

Koji is a graduate from the University of Southern California’s Masters of Professional Writing program. He has held several fellowships, starting with the most recent, which include: The Writers Boot Camp Fellowship (2009), The Producers Guild: Power of Diversity Workshop (2009), Film Independent’s Project: Involve (2007), Visual Communication’s Armed With a Camera (2006), and Screenwriting Expo 4: New Visions Fellowship award (2005).

In addition to his work in film, Koji is a regular contributor to Discover Nikkei ( and 8Asians ( He also contributed a story (Meet Joe) to Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, the first graphic novel anthology written/drawn/and about Asian Americans. Secret Identities was released by New Press in April of 2009.

Koji is the manager of public programs at the Japanese American National Museum ( He is in charge of the concerts, lectures, workshops, family days, screenings, and other public events.

Nikkei interests

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

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