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.

April 2017

vkm (Gardena, California, United States)

vkm (Vicky K. Murakami-Tsuda) is a Yonsei from Southern California. She is the Communications Production Manager at the Japanese American National Museum. She joined the Discover Nikkei team in 2005 and has contributed articles, created Nikkei Albums, shared events, and posted comments. In addition to content on the site, she has worked with the project team to develop and grow the site and the project’s global Nima-kai community.

Having worked at the Japanese American National Museum for almost 22 years, I have learned so much about Japanese American history, art, and culture. I’ve been fortunate to have worked on many fascinating exhibitions and projects and met many inspiring people. Discover Nikkei is my all-time favorite project because I get to learn something new almost every day. I vaguely knew about Nikkei in Latin America and Canada before, but I’ve learned so much more since working on this project. I have a much deeper appreciation and understanding for what it means to be Nikkei, and it fascinates me to learn about both the similarities and differences between the experiences in Southern California and those of Nikkei living in other parts of the world. I’ve had a lot of wonderful conversations discussing the impact of local history and culture on cultural identity, and how traditions are adapted.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet (both virtually and in person) Nikkei from around the world. I’m planning on attending the COPANI conference in Lima, Peru, in November. It will be my first time participating and I really look forward to it! Let me know if you plan on attending. Would love to meet up!

Read Vicky’s articles >>

March 2017

rmyokota (Illinois, United States)

rmyokota (Ryan Masaaki Yokota) is a Yonsei/Shin-Nisei Japanese/Okinawan American who currently lives in Chicago, IL. His research and writings have focused on the Okinawan diaspora. Although he only recently created a Nima account, he has shared articles about Nikkei in Chicago on Discover Nikkei since 2013.

Discover Nikkei is a truly vital resource for the global Nikkei community. In seeing the range of articles published here I have been able to feel more connected with fellow Nikkei around the world and have been amazed at how diverse our global community is. Through online resources like Discover Nikkei, I have learned new things, and been able to keep up with the thoughts of like-minded people throughout the world. Most of all, it has stimulated me to want to travel around the world to see more of the different Nikkei communities and how they live! I look forward to seeing how coverage of the various communities will grow in the years to come.

Read Ryan’s articles >>

February 2017

emikotsuchida (San Francisco, California, United States)

emikotsuchida (Emiko Tsuchida) is a Yonsei freelance writer and social media marketer who writes about Asian American identity and experiences, oral histories, and the Japanese American World War II experience. In December, she started sharing stories from her Tessaku project, which features interviews with Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during the war.

I love that Discover Nikkei is exactly that: an eclectic discovery of the history and people who make up the diverse communities of Japanese heritage. Some of my favorite pieces have been the Canadian Nikkei series, the fascinating stories about migration, and of course, articles about food! I think this site creates a really relevant and culturally significant extension to the Japanese American National Museum that can continue to evolve and grow as more stories are shared through the years. I’m honored to be a part of the community.

Read Emiko’s articles >>

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.


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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