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.

December 2020

milestone (British Columbia, Canada)

George Doi was born in a small mining town in British Columbia, Canada. At the age of nine, he and his family were uprooted and moved to Bay Farm, a remote internment camp where they remained for 4 years. Now 88 years old, he still has sharp memories of those times and the hardships endured there.

George submitted the story about his virtual “walk around the world” as part of the More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports special series, and we’re now in the process of publishing his 4-part story about his family’s experiences before, during, and after World War II. The first two parts are already online, with the last two sections to be published in the next few weeks.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

I was first introduced to Discover Nikkei by my friend, Norm Ibuki. I especially enjoy reading about the Nikkeis in USA and South American countries and noting the differences/similarities that were used towards our imprisonment. I feel that our stories need to be told and not buried. The younger generations must be kept informed and educated about those times while there are still first-hand story tellers to tell their stories, and to this end, Discover Nikkei is playing a vital role.

Read his stories >>

November 2020

luisiguchiiguchi (Lima, Peru)

Luis Iguchi Iguchi (luisiguchiiguchi) is a Nisei from Lima, Peru. He has contributed to the newspapers Peru Shimpo and Prensa Nikkei, as well as the magazines Nikko, Superación, Puente, and El Nisei. He was founding president of the Nisei Jauja Club.

He began contributing articles to Discover Nikkei in September, and we have already shared five stories—including four for More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports (and one more coming soon). We look forward to sharing even more in the future!

[EN]
What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

Participating in Discover Nikkei has been a very pleasant and didactic experience. It’s been pleasant because I feel like I’m surrounded by friends from different parts of the American continent. And it’s didactic because I’ve seen how the histories of Japanese communities are being preserved in an open and safe way for Nikkei and non-Nikkei people alike around the world.

It has been a wonderful way for me and many of my friends to learn about Discover Nikkei. As a Nikkei, I feel that the story of our forefathers should live on through time. From being immigrants who didn’t understand the language to finding a way to support themselves in formal ways. I think that these are examples for the newer generations, so they can directly see that life without sacrifice is false, deficient, and has no value for society. Hard work and honor are the values they instilled in us from childhood. And we are there, the examples of our parents’ effort.

Read his stories (Spanish only) >>

[ES]
¿Qué es lo que te gusta de Descubra a los Nikkei?

Participar en Discover Nikkei ha sido una experiencia sumamente agradable y didáctica. Agradable porque se siente uno rodeado de amigos de distintos lugares del continente americano y didáctica por conocer cómo las historias de las colonias japonesas quedarán preservadas de forma abierta y segura para el público nikkei y no nikkei del mundo.

Ha sido maravilloso para mí y muchos de mis amigos conocer Discover Nikkei y siento que, como nikkei, la historia de nuestros padres tiene que perdurar en el tiempo. De ser inmigrantes sin conocer el idioma, a tener un sustento en donde formalizar su vida. Y pienso que el ejemplo a las nuevas generaciones es darles motivos para entender que la vida sin sacrificios es falsa, pobre y sin ningún valor para la sociedad. El trabajo y la honradez son los valores que nos inculcaron desde nuestra niñez. Y ahí estamos como ejemplo de lo que hicieron nuestros padres.

Lea los articulos de Luis >>

October 2020

fukuda (California, United States)

Keiko Fukuda (fukuda) is a Shin Issei freelance writer living in Southern California. She has been sharing her stories on Discover Nikkei since 2008, primarily interviews with a wide variety of Shin Issei and some Shin Nisei about their experiences living in the United States.

Keiko served on the 2018 Nikkei Chronicles #7—Nikkei Roots editorial committee. She was previously named Nima of the Month in May 2011.

[EN]
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 lived in the U.S. for 28 years now. I’m a so-called Shin Issei. I can see myself and the community I live with an objective eye when I write stories about Nikkei, including the Shin Issei like me, and their culture. Also, I want the voices of Nikkei abroad to be heard as much as possible, as I’m concerned about the current, extremely introverted Japan—a country which once sent a great number of people to the American continent. I want to take advantage of the nature of Discover Nikkei being an online medium which can be accessed from anywhere, even by Japanese people living in Japan. I’d like to continue writing about the life of Nikkei and how they approach life in America, as they share their racial heritage.

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

I’m very happy when Japanese media reach out to me and say they want to interview the people I wrote about for Discover Nikkei or when I get requests from readers asking for details about the places I introduced in my essays, those related to Nikkei culture, because they say they want to stop by during their next visit to Los Angeles. These are the moments when I truly realize that my stories have reached people. I also feel blessed to have years of relationships with the people who have let me interview and write about their life.

Read her articles >>

[JA]
Q. ディスカバーニッケイへ寄稿しづつける意義はなんですか?また、今後どのようなストリーを書きたいと考えていますか?

渡米して28年になります。いわゆる新一世です。私のような新一世を含む日系人や日系文化を取材することで、自身の姿や暮らす社会を客観的に捉えることができます。さらに、かつて北南米に多くの移民を輩出した日本が現在は非常に内向き志向であることに懸念を抱いていることから、日本に住む日本人にもオンラインメディアとしてどこからでもアクセスしてもらえる特性を生かし、海外に暮らす日系人の生の声を少しでも多く伝えたいと考えています。今後も、彼らにとって同じルーツを持つ日系人がどのような意識を持ってアメリカで生活しているのかを引き続き取材していきたいです。

Q. ディスカバーニッケイへエッセイをシェアすることで得た最も有意義なことは何でしょうか?

ディスカバーニッケイに取材執筆した人物を日本のメディアから改めて取材したいとの連絡を受けたり、また同じく私のエッセーで紹介した日系文化に所縁のある場所を次回ロサンゼルスに訪れた際に立ち寄ってみたいので詳細を教えて欲しいといったレスポンスをいただくと「私の書いた記事が人々に届いている」ということが実感できてとても嬉しいです。さらに、取材させていただいた方とのご縁が何年経っても続いていることに、心から感謝しています。

彼女のエッセイを読む >>

September 2020

msaito4 (California, United States)

Matthew Saito (msaito4) is currently a third year student at Loyola Marymount University, majoring in Finance and minoring in Philosophy, with an emphasis in Business Law. He plans to go to law school to work in either the civil rights or business law field.

This past summer, Discover Nikkei once again partnered with the Japanese American Bar Association to host a Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) program intern. For his primary assignment, Matthew interviewed pioneering transgender civil rights attorney Mia Yamamoto. He researched and wrote about trailblazer Chiyoko Sakamoto and the resurgence of xenophobia against Asian Americans due to COVID-19. For the More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports special series, he wrote about Nikkei youth basketball leagues. We will be sharing his final article reflecting on his internship experience later this month.

The Discover Nikkei Team thanks Matthew for his hard work this summer and wish him well in the future!

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

I really love Discover Nikkei because of the connections that it creates with Nikkei around the world. Discover Nikkei breaks the barriers of physical distance and documents the stories of Nikkei from a wide variety of backgrounds, locations, and environments. The stories and experiences shared on Discover Nikkei cannot be found anywhere else, and allows other Nikkei to connect with individuals that they may not have met otherwise.

What was the most rewarding part of your intern experience?

It was such a privilege to be the Japanese American National Museum’s intern this summer, and I enjoyed every minute of it! The most rewarding part of the experience was that I was able to meet and interact with so many different leaders in the Japanese American community. Each of these leaders gave me such great insight about how I can impact the community and create change for the future generations!

Read his articles >>

August 2020

laurahh (São Paulo, Brazil)

Laura Honda-Hasegawa (laurahh) is a Sansei in São Paulo, Brazil. Her writing shares her and others’ experiences and perspectives of being Nikkei. In her fiction, her stories explore life for dekasegi living in Japan.

She has been contributing her stories in both Portuguese and Japanese on Discover Nikkei since 2011. In addition to writing three original series, she has also written articles for Nikkei Chronicles, Kizuna 2020, and on other topics. Laura also helps us with translations, reviewing and editing Portuguese articles submitted by others, serving as an editorial committee member for past Nikkei Chronicles, led a writing workshop for us, recruited other writers, and more!

[EN]
In addition to your own stories, you have contributed to Discover Nikkei in many ways. What makes this project so important to you?

I am interested in Japanese culture and the history of the Japanese who emigrated to different countries, and I've been writing about this topic. I owe this to the existence of Discover Nikkei, for if it hadn't been for this project I would hardly have had such an opportunity. It brings me joy to be able to contribute, at least a little, by expressing, through family and community stories, how I think and feel. I hope Discover Nikkei becomes the meeting point for Nikkei from all over the world, a special place where everyone can reinforce the strong ties that bind them.

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

I’ve been contributing to Discover Nikkei since July 2011 and it’s gratifying to know that, during these 9 years, I’ve been able to share through my writing my experiences as a Brazilian Nikkei. These days, that has been my ikigai, my life’s purpose.

Read her stories >>

[PT]
Além de colaborar com suas histórias, você tem contribuído de diferentes maneiras para o Discover Nikkei. O que torna o nosso projeto tão importante para você?

Eu me interesso pela cultura japonesa e pela história dos japoneses que emigraram para diferentes países e tenho escrito sobre o assunto. Devo isto à existência do Discover Nikkei, porque se não fosse esse projeto dificilmente eu teria uma oportunidade dessas. Poder contribuir, pelo menos um pouco, expressando minha maneira de pensar e de sentir, através de histórias familiares e da comunidade, é motivo de felicidade. Espero que o Discover Nikkei seja o ponto de encontro dos nikkeis do mundo inteiro, um lugar especial onde todos possam estreitar os fortes laços que os unem.

O que de mais significativo aconteceu em consequência de ter se conectado ao Discover Nikkei?

Colaboro no Discover Nikkei desde julho de 2011 e é gratificante saber que, nestes 9 anos, pude transmitir através da escrita as minhas experiências como nikkei brasileira. Atualmente isto tem sido o ikigai, o meu propósito de vida.

Leia suas histórias >>

[JA]
Q. エッセイの寄稿をはじめ、様々な分野でディスカバーニッケイをサポートしていただいていますが、ラウラさんにとって、ディスカバーニッケイプロジェクトの重要性は何ですか?

私は日本文化や海外に移住した日本人の物語に関心を持ち、文章を書いてきました。そのきっかけは、ディスカバー・ニッケイの存在です。このプロジェクトがなければ、私にこういう機会はほとんどなかったと思います。自分の考え方、感じ方、家族やコミュニティのストーリーなどをお届けすることによって、少しでもお役に立てれば幸いです。ディスカバー・ニッケイが、世界中の日系人の特別なたまり場、日系人の絆が深まる場になることを願っています。

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しょうか?

2011年7月から9年間、ディスカバー・ニッケイに参加でき、日系ブラジル人としての経験を文章にして、皆様にお伝えできたことを嬉しく思います。今では生き甲斐となっています。

彼女のストーリーを読む >>

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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Major support by The Nippon Foundation