Nima of the Month

Nima are members of our Discover Nikkei Nima-kai community. Our Nima of the Month are some of our most active participants. Learn more about them and what they like about Discover Nikkei.

May 2020

tnimura (Washington, United States)

Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American (Sansei/Pinay) freelance writer, community journalist, and public historian. She grew up in Northern California and now lives in the Pacific Northwest.

We first came across Tamiko when we found an article she had written about Ichiro leaving the Seattle Mariners in 2012. We were happy to republish it on Discover Nikkei, and since then, she has been contributing stories on Discover Nikkei regularly about Nikkei in the Tacoma/Seattle area, as well as other topics dear to her.

Her submission to the first Nikkei Chronicles: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture was selected as an editorial committee favorite. She has also served on the editorial committees for the Nikkei Names (#3) and Nikkei Roots (#7) special series. She was previously selected as Nima of the Month in March 2013.

With 75 articles published on Discover Nikkei from 2012 to now, why do you feel it’s important to continue sharing your stories on our site? What other stories would you still like to write?

I’ve been so grateful to have the opportunity to cover and grow as a writer and a member of the Japanese American community through Discover Nikkei. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people, places, and causes through this platform, and to highlight their good work.

I’d still like to write more about the Nikkei community in Tacoma, and share more with the community about the two books I’ve been writing. One is a co-written graphic novel about Japanese American wartime resistance and the other is a family memoir in connection with my father’s unpublished memoir about his incarceration in Tule Lake. There are so many lesser-known Nikkei stories in the Pacific Northwest and I hope to continue to research and share them.

What is the most meaningful thing that has happened as a result of your connection to Discover Nikkei?

One of the most meaningful things happened with the translation of my article “My Log Cabin Sukiyaki Song” into all of the site’s languages. This led to being published internationally, in Peru, Canada, Japan, and Brazil. The translation into Japanese meant that I was able to send a piece of my writing to my relatives in Hiroshima, Japan. That I was writing about my father, their cousin, made it so meaningful for me. I don’t speak very much Japanese, and they don’t speak very much English (though their English is much better than my Japanese!).

Read her articles >>

April 2020

albertomatsumoto (Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan)

Alberto has dedicated his life to helping Latin American Nikkei living in Japan through legal translations and counseling. He teaches at Kanagawa University, is a published author, and popular speaker.

Alberto has published over 100 articles on Discover Nikkei since 2007 in Spanish and Japanese, mostly through his ongoing The Nikkei of Latin America and Latino Nikkei series. In addition, he does many translations for our project, served on three Nikkei Chronicles editorial committees, and has served as a consultant and advisor on Latin American Nikkei content and issues. Alberto was interviewed by Discover Nikkei in 2019. He was previously named Nima of the Month in October 2010.

[EN]
Why is it important for you to share stories about Nikkei in Japan on Discover Nikkei?

Becoming more familiar with the Nikkei residents of Japan is also a great opportunity to understand and learn about the Nikkei of Latin America, the United States, and sometimes even from Asia. The settlement of Latino Nikkei in Japan is a process similar to that faced by Japanese immigrants a century ago. At that time, they had to build their lives from nothing or from very little and overcome uncertainty about how to educate their children and plan for their future. It would make me very happy to know that my writing helps guide this integration process.

What is the most meaningful thing that has happened as a result of your connection to Discover Nikkei?

Participating in Discover Nikkei has enabled me to get to know the Nikkei of Latin America as well as the United States and Canada. At events such as COPANI (Convention of Pan American Nikkei) I was able to meet some of these distinguished leaders in person. Through this network of relationships, I’ve learned many things and I hope to share that knowledge within my own society. I feel that by writing articles and translating histories and stories, Nikkei can learn about many experiences that will broaden their own vision of the world and of society.

Read Alberto’s stories >>

[ES]
¿Por qué es importante para usted compartir historias sobre los nikkei en Japón en Descubra a los Nikkei?

Conocer mejor a los nikkei residentes de Japón implica también una gran oportunidad para conocer e interiorizarse sobre los nikkei de América Latina, de los Estados Unidos y en ocasiones también de Asia. Este asentamiento de los nikkei latinos en Japón es un proceso similar que los inmigrantes japoneses se enfrentaron un siglo antes, donde tuvieron que construir sus vidas desde la nada o con muy poco, donde dudaron cómo educar a sus hijos y cómo planificar su futuro. Si mis escritos sirven para orientar este proceso de integración me sentiré sumamente satisfecho.

¿Cuál ha sido la cosa más significativa que le ha ocurrido como resultado de su conexión con Descubra a los Nikkei?

Mi participación en Discover Nikkei me ha permitido conocer no solo a los nikkei de América Latina sino también a los de Estados Unidos y Canadá y en ocasiones como la COPANI (Convención Panamericana Nikkei) pude conocer en persona a algunos de estos prestigiosos líderes. A través de esta red de relaciones pude aprender muchas cosas y espero poder retribuir estos conocimientos en mi propia sociedad. Escribiendo artículos o traduciendo historias y relatos siento que que los nikkei pueden conocer muchísimas vivencias que permitirían ampliar su visión del mundo y de la sociedad.

Lea las historias de Alberto >>

[JA]
Q. ディスカバー・ニッケイへ日本住む日系人のストーリをシェアすることの重要性は何ですか?

日本に住んでいる日系人を知ることで、中南米やアメリカ、時にはアジアにいる日系人をもっと知るきっかけになっているという気がします。日系ラティーノは、日本に定着することによって、昔の日本人移住者のようにゼロから試行錯誤しながら生活の基盤を立て、子供の教育で悩み、未来を築いているのです。そうした挑戦の中で自分が書いているものが少しでもヒントになってくれれば幸いです。

Q. ディスカバー・ニッケイへ参加することで得た最も有意義なことは何ですか?

中南米だけではなく北米の日系人のことももっと知ることができたし、COPANI(パンアメリカン日系人大会)等を通じて実際有力な日系リーダーと会うことです。このネットワークを通じてもっといろいろなことを学び、社会に還元できればと思っています。コラムを書きながら、また様々なストーリーを翻訳しながら、これらの物語を通して、もっと多くの日系人にいろいろな出来事を知ってもらい、広い視野を育んで欲しいと思っています。

アルベルト・松本さんの記事を読む >>

March 2020

takako70 (Illinois, United States)

Takako Day is a Shin-Issei originally from Kobe, Japan, who has lived in the US for nearly 30 years. She is an award-winning freelance writer and independent researcher who has published seven books and hundreds of articles in Japanese and English. Working as a reporter at the Nichibei Times in San Francisco, CA, first opened her eyes to social and cultural issues in multicultural America. Her latest book, Show Me the Way to Go Home: The Moral Dilemma of Kibei No No Boys in World War Two Incarceration Camps, is her first book in English.

Takako has been sharing stories about pre-war Issei pioneers and Nisei in Chicago on Discover Nikkei since 2016, including a series about the lives of four Japanese in Chicago and the Midwest who were arrested on suspicion of espionage during World War II. We are currently in the process of publishing her most recent 3-part article about shoyu(soy sauce) in Chicago.

We asked her what she liked about Discover Nikkei and this is what she replied:

[EN] Now that I've lived in the US longer than in Japan where I was born and grew up, and I am now at age of an official senior citizen, I am sometimes at a loss to answer the question, “Why am I now in the US?”

As if responding to my uncertainty, Discover Nikkei helps me look into “me” and empowers me with the valuable stories and experiences of Nikkei all over the world. Their stories give me peace of mind and help me look forward to the years ahead.

Read Takako’s stories (English only) >>

[JA] いよいよ日本よりもアメリカ生活の方が長くなり、高齢者と呼ばれる年齢になると、時々ふと「なぜ私は今アメリカにいるのだろう」という不安な気持ちに襲われます。そんなとき、「ディスカバーニッケイ」で、さまざまな土地と時代を生き抜いた人々の生き様を知ると、まるで「ディスカバーミー」のエネルギーをもらうかのようです。それは、私に与えられた”これからの時間”への安心感につながっています。

タカコさんのエッセイを読む(英語のみ) >>

February 2020

ikuoshinmasu (Kanagawa, Japan)

Ikuo Shinmasu first contacted Discover Nikkei about an article shared on our site by the North American Post in Washington. That initial inquiry then led to a collaboration with the Seattle-based Nikkei newspaper on a series about Ikuo’s grandfather. Yoemon Shinmasu was an Issei immigrant from Yamaguchi Prefecture who ran a successful barbershop business in Seattle, but died in an accident in his 40s. Ikuo was born and raised in Japan, but is sharing his research about his grandfather’s life, with eight parts published so far, available in English and Japanese.

[EN]
What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

While I thought I had a good understanding of the experience of Nikkei in the past and just how unimaginable it was, I was completely struck by what they went through, as I read a number of posts on Discover Nikkei and learned the history of immigrants. I think it’s a great site where people can discover the lives of many Nikkei around the world by reading articles written by individuals with direct and honest storytelling.

I was given an opportunity this time to write a series of articles about my grandfather’s immigration to Seattle, and I discovered something as I was writing. For a long time, I had thought that my father, who devoted his life to teaching in elementary schools in Japan after the war, was a mediocre, ordinary elementary school teacher. However, as I re-discovered the fact that he was a Japanese American born in Seattle and spent his childhood and youth in America, I realized for the first time that he was actually a one-of-a-kind, respectable teacher who had seen a bigger world. And I’m grateful that my writing to Discover Nikkei has allowed me to have this discovery.

Read Ikuo’s stories (Japanese and English) >>

[JA]
Q: ディスカバーニッケイの好きなところはどこですか?それはなぜですか?

日系人は過去に想像を絶する経験をしてきたと自分なりに理解していたが、ディスカバーニッケイ に投稿されているいろいろな方の移民の歴史を読み、改めてその壮絶な状況に驚嘆する。また、リ アリティに富む個人の投稿記事を通して世界にまたがる多くの日系人の方々の生き様を発見できる ので、素晴らしいサイトであると私は思う。

今回、私は祖父のシアトルへの移住経験について投稿させていただいたが、原稿を書きながら、あ る発見をすることができた。私は長いこと、戦後ずっと日本の小学校で教師を務めていた父親は、 うだつのあがらない平凡な小学校教員だと思っていた。しかし今回、父がシアトルに生まれた日系 アメリカ人で、アメリカで子供時代、青春時代を過ごしたということを再認識し、実は父は世界を 知るスケールの大きい凄い先生だったのだと初めて見直すことができた。この発見はひとえにデ ィスカバーニッケイへの投稿のお蔭であった。

新舛育雄さんの記事を読む (日本語&英語)>>

January 2020

NikkeiVoice (Ontario, Canada)

Founded in 1987, Nikkei Voice is a national Japanese Canadian newspaper that provides an important medium for Japanese Canadian expression and communication through articles covering news, arts, culture, entertainment, food, and Japanese Canadian history.

Nikkei Voice has been sharing some of their stories on Discover Nikkei for many years, through contributions by authors such as Kelly Fleck, Matthew O’Mara, and Luke Galati.

We asked Nikkei Voice editor Kelly Fleck what they like about Discover Nikkei and this is what she replied:

Discover Nikkei is this incredible space where news, stories and resources about the Nikkei community are gathered together in one place. It is what Nikkei Voice tries to do on a much smaller, Canadian scale, and Discover Nikkei impressively does on an international level. These stories cross borders of nation, language and generation and preserve the community's past, informs on the stories of today, and by doing so, looks to keep the community intact for the future.

Stories nourish the mind, give insight into perspectives we might have never had the chance to understand and connect us, no matter the distance. With Discover Nikkei, we in Canada, can learn about what Nikkei in America, Japan, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and so on, are up to, all in one place.

We are grateful that Discover Nikkei shares Nikkei Voice's stories about the Japanese Canadian community. We are thrilled to be a small slice of this international Nikkei community.

Read articles by Nikkei Voice editor Kelly Fleck >>

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Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

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