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.

August 2019

kaylatanaka (Torrance, California, United States)

Kayla Tanaka is presently working with Discover Nikkei and the Japanese American Bar Association through a summer internship as part of the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) program. She is attending the University of California, Riverside (UCR), majoring in economics. Outside of her internship, Kayla is very involved with her community, including the Nikkei Student Union at UCR and the Intercollegiate Nikkei Council.

As part of her internship, she interviewed Judge Holly J. Fujie. An article and video clips from the interview will be available soon. She also interviewed filmmaker Tad Nakamura on his involvement with the At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum, will be contributing to our Nikkei Heroes series, and worked on other assignments.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

Discover Nikkei is a resource that can be of use to any generation, both within and outside of the Nikkei community. From the events calendar, interviews, and photo archive there seems to be an endless supply of Nikkei knowledge and stories internationally. Although I grew up in a relatively Japanese American community (Torrance, CA) I was unaware of how diverse the Nikkei diaspora truly is, but after doing research through Discover Nikkei I realized that there is a much broader meaning to the word “Nikkei.”

The Discover Nikkei site does not just provide contextual resources, but also a supportive community of alike and diverse individuals that help each other understand and relate to different Nikkei experiences. This site is a great resource that I hope this generation and following generations learn how to use to its fullest potential.

Read Kayla’s stories >>

July 2019

sergiohernandez (México, Mexico)

Over the past nine years, Sergio Hernández Galindo has conributed many thought-provoking and insightful articles about Japanese emigration to Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. In addition to being an author and researcher who has published numerous articles and books, he is an in-demand professor. Sergio has taught at universities in Italy, Chile, Peru, and Argentina as well as Japan. Recently, he was a fellow for the Japan Foundation, which is affiliated with Yokohama National University.

Sergio was previously selected Nima of the Month in July 2016. His submission for Nikkei Chronicles #5—Nikkei Go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture was selected as an editorial committee favorite.

[EN]
Why is it important for you to share stories of Japanese Mexicans on Discover Nikkei?

The Japanese Mexicans stories are not only interesting but very relevant to understand our history as multicultural countries. I hope these stories will help prevent any kind of racism and intolerance against immigrants in our time.

How do you feel about your stories being translated and read all over the world?

The Discover Nikkei platform has allowed me to connect and meet people from Japan, America, and Latin America. I have shared information on immigrants stories. I feel very happy when I receive mails from Mexico and abroad.

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

Some Nikkei people have asked me for information about their own roots that I have been able to obtain in the archives. As a researcher it has been a rewarding experience.

Read Sergio’s stories >>

[ES]
¿Por qué es importante para usted compartir historias de los japoneses mexicanos en Descubra a los Nikkei?

Las historias en torno a los japoneses-mexicanos no sólo son interesantes sino muy relevantes para entender nuestra historia como países multiculturales. Espero que las mismas contribuyan para evitar cualquier tipo de racismo e intolerancia contra los inmigrantes en nuestro tiempo.

¿Cómo se siente sobre el hecho de que sus historias estén siendo traducidas y leídas en todo el mundo?

La plataforma de Discover Nikkei me ha permitido ponerme en contacto y conocer gente de Japón, Estados Unidos y de Latinoamérica. He compartido información sobre las historias de inmigrantes. Me siento muy contento cuando recibo correos desde México y del extranjero.

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

Algunos personas nikkei me han solicitado información sobre sus propias raíces que yo he podido obtener en los archivos. Como investigador ha sido una experiencia gratificante.

Lea los artículos de Sergio >>

June 2019

monakasone (California, United States)

Makiko Nakasone is an Issei journalist who lives with her Sansei husband, Steve and their two sons in La Cañada Flintridge, California and is also the charter president of the Rotary Club of Little Tokyo. She was formerly a staff writer at The Nihon Keizai Shinbun, also known as The Nikkei the world’s largest financial newspapers. Her articles have also appeared in Asahi Shimbun, Japan Times, Sydney Morning Herald, and others.

Makiko began volunteering for Discover Nikkei in February of 2019 and has written articles profiling individuals in Southern California. She hopes to start writing articles in Japanese for Discover Nikkei as well

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

By nature, I’m a curious person, and Discover Nikkei is the only website where I can learn about other Nikkei in Brazil, Hawaii, and the rest of the US. The stories about other Nikkei inspire me to do more for the community. They also give me great ideas about how best we can promote cultural exchanges and better understanding, which has been my dream since childhood.

For a long time, I confessed I was proud to be “Japanese” and not Nikkei as I am a Japanese citizen, active in my local “American” community. However, after living in Los Angeles for almost 30 years, I realize that I am “Nikkei,” particularly to the eyes of non-Japanese. For Discover Nikkei, I would like to focus on the Nikkei who may not receive the spotlight because they are deeply rooted in the local communities who quietly and surely promote Japanese cultures.

Read Makiko’s articles >>

[JA] ディスカバー・ニッケイの何が好きですか?また、それはなぜですか?

元来、好奇心旺盛の私にとって、ロス以外だけでなく、ブラジルやハワイなどに住む日系人について知ることができるウェブサイト「ディスカバー・ニッケイ」があるのはうれしい。他地域に住む日系人の記事を読むことで、ロスの日系社会にもっと貢献すべきだと促されることもある。また、子供の頃からの夢だった、文化交流や相互理解促進について、より良い方法のヒントも得られる。

長いこと、「自分は、日本人」と思いながら、地元米社会に根付いた生活をしてきた。しかし、30年ほどロスに住み、「私も日系だ」と気づいた。米国人の目には、私は「Nikkei」だ。これからは、日系人として、「ディスカバー・ニッケイ」を通して、スポットライトを浴びることなく、地元米社会で地道に、かつ、確実に文化交流を行っている日系人に焦点を置きたいと思う。

中曽根牧子さんの記事を読む >>

May 2019

lthistory (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) was formed in 2006 to commemorate Japanese American and Japanese history and heritage through various means such as archival collections, photos, exhibits, lectures, and workshops. LTHS operates as an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, comprised of members who have a keen interest in the history of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

LTHS has shared events, photos, and stories on Discover Nikkei since 2006. We partnered with them on a project about Los Angeles’ prewar Japanese Hospital in 2010. As well, the organization has shared winning stories from their annual Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest with Discover Nikkei for the past five years. We will be sharing the sixth year’s winners on our site soon. LTHS was previously Nima of the Month in November 2010.

Why has Discover Nikkei been a good partner for the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest?

One of the most important and fun aspects of Discover Nikkei is that it is a quadrilingual platform (English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese) which provides opportunities for Nikkei worldwide to discover the many similarities Nikkei still have generations after the Issei immigrants arrived and to share the uniqueness of their rich Nikkei culture in their respective language and local community.

2014 was the inaugural year of the Little Tokyo Historical Society’s “Imagine Little Tokyo” Short Story Contest that has included publishing the winning and honorable mention stories (English, Japanese, Youth categories) each year on Discover Nikkei. This allows for LTHS to reach a very broad audience in terms of seeking fictional stories on Little Tokyo (some winners have never been to Little Tokyo!) and circulating the winning stories to a multitude of readers. Thank you Discover Nikkei!

What is unique about Discover Nikkei that makes it a useful platform and project to partner with?

Partnering with Discover Nikkei has been mutually beneficial and easy since the relationship started in 2010. LTHS (based in Los Angeles’ historic Little Tokyo neighborhood) launched its book, Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo (Images of America, 2010), that year and we worked with Discover Nikkei to create our new profile so that a few of the book’s vintage photos of Little Tokyo and background stories were posted. LTHS has also submitted articles on early Japanese American civil rights pioneer, Yamaguchi-ken native, and Little Tokyo newspaper publisher Sei Fujii. LTHS members and friends have also posted articles on various topics.

Read the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Stories Contest stories >>

April 2019

Javiernesto (Lima, Peru)

Javier García Wong-Kit is a Peruvian independent journalist and professor who has written articles for Kaikan magazine, which is published by the Japanese Peruvian Association and is Discover Nikkei’s partnering organization in Peru. He has taught at San Martín de Porres University since 2008 and Universidad Privada del Norte since 2017. He has contributed numerous articles to Discover Nikkei since 2012.

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

For me, the most important thing is always to meet interesting people who make you believe in the future. I am always happy to find people who have read my articles on DN and who congratulate me for my work. A few years ago, a student from Denmark came to Peru and asked me to guide her in her academic research on the Nikkei. It’s my pleasure to help and collaborate with Discover Nikkei by sharing my work and knowledge.

What has been the most surprising reaction/observation you received by sharing stories on Discover Nikkei?

Recently, I met an editor of a major Nikkei institution who told me she was a reader of my work. I was excited because it is someone who is an expert in editing texts. It also gives me great satisfaction when my interviewees read the articles and tell me that they have been moved by the stories they shared with me, when they see them narrated by someone who has just met them.

Read Javier’s articles >>

[ES] ¿Cuál es la cosa más significativa que ha sucedido como resultado de su conexión con Discover Nikkei?

Para mí, lo más importante siempre es conocer gente valiosa que te hace creer en el futuro. Siempre me alegra encontrar personas que han leído mis artículos en DN y que me felicitan por mi trabajo. Hace unos años, una estudiante de Dinamarca vino a Perú y me pidió que la orientara en su investigación académica sobre los nikkei. Es un placer poder ayudar a través de mi trabajo y el conocimiento que me ha dado colaborar con DN.

¿Cuál ha sido la reacción / observación más sorprendente que recibió al compartir historias sobre Discover Nikkei?

Recientemente, conocí a una editora de una importante institución nikkei que me dijo que era lectora de mi trabajo. Me entusiasmó porque se trata de alguien experto en la corrección y la edición de textos. También me da gran satisfacción cuando mis entrevistados leen los artículos y me comentan que se han sentido emocionados por las historias que compartieron conmigo al verlas narradas por alguien que recién los conoce.

Lea los artículos de Javier >>

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Submissions accepted until September 30.

Read the Nikkei Heroes stories >>

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Major support by The Nippon Foundation