2019 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 2019

gasagasagirl (Pasadena, California, United States)

Naomi Hirahara considers herself a Nisei han—her mother is from Hiroshima, while her father was a Kibei Nisei. A former English editor of The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles, Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a crime-solving Japanese American gardener who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. She has also written and edited many other fiction and non-fiction books and articles featuring Nikkei topics and characters.

Hirahara has been a Nima since 2005, and has contributed numerous stories to Discover Nikkei since 2007. Currently, she pens Killer Roll, her seventh serial exclusively for Discover Nikkei; prior serials have ranged from murder mysteries to romantic comedies. Her most recently completed serial, Trouble on Temple Street: An Office Ellie Rush Mystery, featured a character first introduced in published novels. Hirahara was previously selected Nima of the Month in September 2014.

Killer Roll is your seventh exclusive serial for Discover Nikkei. What is special about publishing your stories on the site?

I can be a hundred-percent Nikkei in my stories and unabashedly integrate ethnic specific topics like baishakunin, strawberry growing, Little Tokyo and okonomiyaki.

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

It's been fun to see non-Nikkei wade into the Discover Nikkei waters. I'm glad that they can enter in through either a mystery and rom-com serial; I hope they will hang around enough to learn about Japanese American culture and history.

Read Naomi’s stories >>

February 2019

kateiio (California, United States)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kate Lio has contributed several articles to Discover Nikkei as a volunteer writer and recently interview Mark Nagata of the Japanese American National Museum’s exhibition Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.

Kate’s father was born in Japan and her mother in Taiwan. She has an older sister and two dogs. Currently, she is studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She aspires to build a strong relationship between the US and Japan by cultivating a future of understanding between one another’s culture to create long-lasting relationships.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

What I love most about Discover Nikkei is its global inclusivity of a group of people that often becomes forgotten or left out in our history. It draws attention and awareness through their articles, interviews, and various other resources, creating a greater widespread understanding of these groups. As a writer for Discover Nikkei (DN), I really enjoy interviewing these figures in our community and analyzing their stories to develop a unique piece to share with readers.

I also really appreciate the accessibility of the website and activeness of our writers. There are so many articles to choose and read from that covers every aspect you could think of within the culture. Every article published provides such a fresh, unique perspective that I feel like I am always constantly learning something new about the community. I am very proud to be a part of the DN writing community and am excited to continue contributing to this great community.

Read Kate’s articles >>

Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

Read the Nikkei Roots stories >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

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!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation