2017 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

May 2017

hudsonokada (São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

hudsonokada (Hudson Okada) was born in the municipality of Matão, São Paulo, Brazil, but now lives in the Liberdade district. He has won several literary contests and is part of the Jornal Nippak team of collaborators. Hudson’s first submissions to Discover Nikkei were three articles for last year’s Nikkei Chronicles 5: Nikkei-go series. Since then, he has contributed more stories about his life as a Brazilian Nikkei.

[PT] O que eu mais gosto deste incrível site é que, além de ter a possibilidade de conhecer a vida de nikkeis que vivem em todas as partes do mundo, eu também, como nipo-brasileiro, posso relatar minhas experiências.

Não vejo melhor forma de nos informarmos sobre o modo como a cultura Nikkei influencia e é influenciada por outras culturas. E isso é muito legal. Vida longa ao site, Descubra Nikkei!

Leia seus artigos >>

[EN] What I like best about this incredible site is that, besides having the chance to learn about the lives of Nikkei from all over the world, I can also, as a Japanese Brazilian, share my own experiences.

I can’t think of a better way to learn about how Nikkei culture influences and is influenced by other cultures. And that’s very cool. Long live Discover Nikkei!

Read Hudson’s articles >>

June 2017

susany (TUCSON, Arizona, United States)

Susan (Araki) Yamamura (susany) was born in Seattle, WA. When she was almost two years old, she was imprisoned with her family at Camp Harmony in Puyallup, WA, and Minidoka in Idaho during World War II. (You can download a PDF of her memories of that time: Camp 1942–1945. After retiring from her career as a computer programmer, Yamamura became a clay and watercolor artist as well as a fiction and nonfiction author. She recently began contributing stories to Discover Nikkei, and was the first to submit to Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture.

[EN] A long comment that I made about long-dead family friend and principled Heart Mountain draft resister Minoru Tamesa on Discover Nikkei’s Facebook page triggered events that allowed me to write a three-part article on Min. I was amazed and delighted to find that Discover Nikkei is for communicating and learning about what it is to be Nikkei, with young and old Nikkei around the world. I am thrilled and very honored to become a part of this new and ever-growing Discover Nikkei international experience.

Read Susan’s articles >>

August 2017

daniyang8 (California, United States)

Dani Yang (daniyang8) is a half-Japanese, half-Chinese Sansei (third generation) from Los Angeles, currently attending UC Berkeley. She has been a participant in Japanese American Optimist Club, Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program, Yonsei Basketball Association, and Berkeley Asian Pacific American Theme House. This summer, she is volunteering with us at Discover Nikkei—posting Southern California obon festival event information and working on various articles.

By far my favorite aspect of Discover Nikkei is the sense of global connectivity that it provides through its variety of articles and contributors! As a California girl born and raised, I don’t get to see many other Nikkei communities outside of ones that I am already familiar with, so Discover Nikkei gives me a chance to explore international groups in great depth. It allows me to learn so much about Japanese peoples from all over the world in a unique and enjoyable way without having to travel outside of the US or even speak the language that the article was written in. Discover Nikkei is a wonderful resource not only for Nikkei peoples, but for all people who are curious about the way that a group’s culture can resonate through time and space.

Read her article >>

September 2017

katsuohiguchi (São Paulo, Brazil)

Nisei Katsuo Higuchi was born in the city of Pompéia, São Paulo, Brazil, and has lived for many years in the capital, São Paulo. A law school graduate, Higuchi is a businessman with a passion for working with people. His professional life has focused on human resources. Higuchi has also had a passion for writing from a young age, contributing to school newspapers, business publications, and more recently, the newspaper Nippo Brasil. Higuchi is married to a Nisei and has three children and two grandchildren.

[PT] O Discover Nikkei chamou minha atenção e interesse pela amplitude de sua circulação, global, e pela gama de assuntos que aborda, sempre focando algum assunto de interesse da Comunidade Nikkei espalhada pelo mundo todo. Considero, com isso, que o Discover Nikkei ajuda a aproximar e fortalecer os laços entre os japoneses e seus descendentes, mantendo vivas as tradições e cultura de um povo milenar.

Leia seus artigos [PT] >>

[EN] Discover Nikkei has drawn my attention and interest because of the extent of its global circulation and the range of subjects it addresses, always focusing on subjects of interest to the worldwide Nikkei community. I believe Discover Nikkei helps to bring Nikkei closer together, strengthening the bonds between the Japanese and their descendants and keeping alive the traditions and culture of an ancient race.

Read Katsuo's article [PT] >>

October 2017

carolcheh (California, United States)

Carol Cheh is a first-generation Chinese American whose parents came over from mainland China via Taiwan. She was born in Honolulu but now calls Los Angeles home. She is a writer and editor who is currently employed in the Communications Department at the Japanese American National Museum, where she works on a spectrum of materials that are published by the museum, such as newsletters, emails, program listings, and the museum blog. She is also part of the Discover Nikkei project team, where she helps to edit articles and emails, and contributes occasional articles of her own. Carol also maintains a freelance practice, writing about art for a variety of publications such as Art21 Magazine and Palm Springs Life.

My connection to Discover Nikkei began when Yoko called on me to help with editing some of the many articles that are submitted to the website on a daily basis. Each time I edit one of these articles, I feel like I learn something new and fascinating. I still think about Gaby Oshiro's gripping story of her disappeared father in Argentina; Henrique Minatogawa's affectionate tribute to Japanese grocery stores, in which I first learned the term konbini; and the profile of pastry chef Vivianne Wakuda, in which I learned the difference between wagashi and yogashi. The variety of stories that get told on Discover Nikkei, which span many different countries and different time periods, is truly remarkable. I have only contributed a few stories of my own to Discover Nikkei so far, but I look forward to contributing more in the future.

Read Carol’sher stories >>

November 2017

roberto (Lima, Peru)

Roberto Oshiro Teruya is a Sansei Peruvian. He began writing for Discover Nikkei in June, contributing stories to Itadakimasu 2! as well as stories about his family and his identity.

[ES] Cuando navegaba por internet en una red social, veía que mis amigos nikkei siempre compartían artículos publicados en una página llamada Discover Nikkei, de esa manera empecé a entrar a este sitio, veía muchas publicaciones de nikkei de otras nacionalidades, con muchas experiencias similares a la mía, lo que me llamó mucho la atención fue la sección Itakakimasu, donde la gente contaba su experiencia alrededor de la comida, que en casa venían de nuestros abuelos, de generación en generación, hasta llegar a nosotros, en ella animaban a escribir su historia alrededor de la comida, cualquier persona podría escribir, es por eso que me animé y mandé un artóculo, seguí mandando artículos sobre el mismo tema, pero Yoko me aconsejó que escribiera otro tipo de artículos, así pudiera contar todas mis experiencias, recuerdos, que se relacionaban con mis raíces y es así como cada vez me acerco a ellas y con lo que escribo, deseo que la gente también se sientan identificados.

Leia seus artigos [ES] >>

[EN] Whenever I looked at social media on the Internet, I would see my Nikkei friends sharing articles from Discover Nikkei. That’s how I found out about the site. I saw a lot of articles about Nikkei of other nationalities with experiences similar to mine. One section that really caught my attention was Itadakimasu!, where people shared experiences related to food. At home, food customs and recipes were passed down by our grandparents, from generation to generation, until they reached us. Anybody can contribute to Discover Nikkei, so I decided to send in an article about food. I kept submitting articles on the same topic, but one day Yoko asked me to write other types of articles, so I began writing about experiences and memories related to my roots. I hope people can identify with what I write.

Read Roberto's articles [ES]>>

Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture

Read the Itadakimasu 2! stories >>

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