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.

January 2017

traciakemi (California, United States)

Our new poetry column, Nikkei Uncovered, is curated by traci kato-kiriyama (traciakemi). Her first contribution to Discover Nikkei was in August 2013. Although she hasn’t made many contributions to the site since then, she has been a great supporter and advocate of our work, and we are thrilled to have her help with Nikkei Uncovered.

[EN] Discover Nikkei rocks! I especially appreciate the attention to STORIES. The site is so chock full of education to soak in and yet, beyond information, we are brought back, always, to stories and to a connection through personal and political narrative.

I also love how Discover Nikkei continues to stretch and bring in more and more voices from the Nikkei diaspora. It’s exciting to learn about other Nikkei beyond the States, and participate in a growing global consciousness for our community.

Read traciakemi’s stories here >>

December 2016

june (California, United States)

june is one of our most dedicated and longest serving volunteers, helping us since 2009. Although you can’t tell by her Nima profile page, she is the unsung hero behind Discover Nikkei. She does a lot of behind-the-scenes work for Discover Nikkei: reviewing articles; prepping content on the site for the Journal, Interviews, and other sections; transcribing interviews; setting up the monthly email you are reading right now; and more. We wouldn’t be able to keep up with sharing so many new stories every day without her help. We thank her for her dedication to the project.

[EN] My favorite thing about Discover Nikkei is the Journal. As a volunteer I’ve been editing articles and reading amazing stories from all over the world. I know how hard Discover Nikkei and the Japanese American National Museum work to connect people, embrace diversity, and to help us explore our heritage and culture. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve been able to be a part of while volunteering.

November 2016

sampei (Cotia, São Paulo, Brazil)

sampei (Claudio Sampei) was born and grew up in Brazil, where he still lives and is very active within many Nikkei community organizations. His first Discover Nikkei submission, to Nikkei Chronicles 3—Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João in 2014, was selected as the Editorial Committee’s favorite.

[PT] Apesar de estar envolvido com associações nikkeis desde a infância só me interessei pela comunidade nikkei após minha bolsa de um ano no Japão em 1994/1995. Lá conheci nikkeis de diversos países e conversando com eles vi que nossas histórias tinham muito em comum e isto me fez interessar pelo assunto. Logo após o retorno ao Brasil, através da internet, conheci o Japanese American National Museum e consequentemente o Discover Nikkei desde sua criação. Sempre fui somente um leitor mas em 2014 em um workshop no Bunkyo (Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura Japonesa e de Assistência Social) fui incentivados a escrever para as Crônicas Nikkeis. Não sou um bom escritor, mas me divirto escrevendo os textos, registrando um pouco da minha história e de minha família.

Leia seus artigos >>

[EN] Despite being involved with Nikkei associations since I was a child, I only became interested in the Nikkei community after living in Japan on a scholarship from 1994 to 1995. There, I met and spoke with Nikkei from different countries, which made me realize that our stories had much in common. Soon after returning to Brazil, I found the Japanese American National Museum through a web search, and so I knew about Discover Nikkei since its inception. I was only a reader at first, but in a 2014 workshop at Bunkyo (the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture), I was encouraged to submit to Nikkei Chronicles. I’m not a good writer, but I’m having fun writing the texts—recording some of my own history and that of my family.

Read sampei’s stories here >>

October 2016

skawa2440kuhio (Japan)

skawa2440kuhio (Seiji Kawasaki) is a professor at Tokyo Gakugei University. His areas of expertise include social studies, multicultural education, and Hawai‘i studies. He has been contributing to Discover Nikkei since July 2014, sharing his experiences with Nikkei in Hawaii through the series “‘Honolulu no mukougawa: Hawaii no Nikkei shakai ni mukaerarete (The Other Side of Honolulu: Welcomed into the Nikkei Community in Hawaii)” (available in Japanese only).

[JA] 「多文化化の著しい日本について学校の授業でどう教えればよいか」について考えるときに,「アメリカで日系人はどう教えられているか」について調べることにした頃,Discover Nikkeiの企画が持ち上がっていました。今なお全米日系人博物館で売られている日本語のブックレット,『日系アメリカ人の歴史 ― アメリカに渡った日系移民の歩み ― Japanese American Historical Overview』を共同で執筆する機会もいただきました。

中学生の時に加藤秀俊の『ホノルルの街かどから』に魅了されて,ハワイに住んでこのようなエッセイが書けたらいいなあと思い続けていたら,ハワイに二度にわたり住むことになり,現地の日系社会に深く引きずり込まれることになりました。そして,そこで見聞きしたことをエッセイにまとめるチャンスが訪れたのです。日本人とハワイの日系人を見比べながら,日本文化と日系文化についてお伝えできたらと思っています。

skawa2440kuhioのストーリーを読む >>

[EN] When I was thinking about how to teach schoolchildren about Japan so rapidly becoming multicultural, I decided to do some research on how Nikkei children are taught in America. It was around the same time that the idea for Discover Nikkei was brought up. I was given a chance to co-write the Japanese-language booklet Japanese American Historical Overview: The Life of Nikkei Immigrants Who Moved to America, which is sold at the Japanese American National Museum to this day.

When I was in middle school, I was greatly inspired by Hidetoshi Kato’s “From the Street Corner in Honolulu,” and kept wishing I could live in Hawaii and write an essay like that. The wish became a reality, and I have lived in Hawaii twice while immersing myself deeply in the local Nikkei community. Discover Nikkei gave me an outlet where I could finally write about my own experiences there. I hope to share more stories about Japanese culture and Nikkei culture as I compare Japanese natives with Nikkei in Hawaii.

Read skawa2440kuhio’s stories here (in Japanese only) >>

September 2016

TKA (California, United States)

TKA (Tim Asamen) is the coordinator of the Japanese American Gallery, a permanent exhibit at the Pioneers’ Park Museum in Imperial Valley, California. He is also active in the Kagoshima Heritage Club. His first contribution to Discover Nikkei was a journal article in 2009. Since then, he has periodically submitted stories about Japanese Americans in the Imperial Valley and his own personal experiences as a Sansei.

Nikkei Chronicles #3: Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João? is one of my favorite series because I am fascinated by name culture in Japan and among Nikkei. I recently read on Discover Nikkei about a Peruvian artist named Eduardo Tokeshi. He may be distantly related to a former Imperial Valley Nisei I knew named Edward Tokeshi. Another feature of Discover Nikkei that I greatly enjoy is the book reviews. Although it is not necessarily good for my wallet because every time I read a review, I end up having to buy another book!

Read TKA's stories here >>

Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture

Read the Nikkei-Go stories >>

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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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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation