2020 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 2020

NikkeiVoice (Ontario, Canada)

Founded in 1987, Nikkei Voice is a national Japanese Canadian newspaper that provides an important medium for Japanese Canadian expression and communication through articles covering news, arts, culture, entertainment, food, and Japanese Canadian history.

Nikkei Voice has been sharing some of their stories on Discover Nikkei for many years, through contributions by authors such as Kelly Fleck, Matthew O’Mara, and Luke Galati.

We asked Nikkei Voice editor Kelly Fleck what they like about Discover Nikkei and this is what she replied:

Discover Nikkei is this incredible space where news, stories and resources about the Nikkei community are gathered together in one place. It is what Nikkei Voice tries to do on a much smaller, Canadian scale, and Discover Nikkei impressively does on an international level. These stories cross borders of nation, language and generation and preserve the community's past, informs on the stories of today, and by doing so, looks to keep the community intact for the future.

Stories nourish the mind, give insight into perspectives we might have never had the chance to understand and connect us, no matter the distance. With Discover Nikkei, we in Canada, can learn about what Nikkei in America, Japan, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and so on, are up to, all in one place.

We are grateful that Discover Nikkei shares Nikkei Voice's stories about the Japanese Canadian community. We are thrilled to be a small slice of this international Nikkei community.

Read articles by Nikkei Voice editor Kelly Fleck >>

February 2020

ikuoshinmasu (Kanagawa, Japan)

Ikuo Shinmasu first contacted Discover Nikkei about an article shared on our site by the North American Post in Washington. That initial inquiry then led to a collaboration with the Seattle-based Nikkei newspaper on a series about Ikuo’s grandfather. Yoemon Shinmasu was an Issei immigrant from Yamaguchi Prefecture who ran a successful barbershop business in Seattle, but died in an accident in his 40s. Ikuo was born and raised in Japan, but is sharing his research about his grandfather’s life, with eight parts published so far, available in English and Japanese.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

While I thought I had a good understanding of the experience of Nikkei in the past and just how unimaginable it was, I was completely struck by what they went through, as I read a number of posts on Discover Nikkei and learned the history of immigrants. I think it’s a great site where people can discover the lives of many Nikkei around the world by reading articles written by individuals with direct and honest storytelling.

I was given an opportunity this time to write a series of articles about my grandfather’s immigration to Seattle, and I discovered something as I was writing. For a long time, I had thought that my father, who devoted his life to teaching in elementary schools in Japan after the war, was a mediocre, ordinary elementary school teacher. However, as I re-discovered the fact that he was a Japanese American born in Seattle and spent his childhood and youth in America, I realized for the first time that he was actually a one-of-a-kind, respectable teacher who had seen a bigger world. And I’m grateful that my writing to Discover Nikkei has allowed me to have this discovery.

Read Ikuo’s stories (Japanese and English) >>

Q: ディスカバーニッケイの好きなところはどこですか?それはなぜですか?

日系人は過去に想像を絶する経験をしてきたと自分なりに理解していたが、ディスカバーニッケイ に投稿されているいろいろな方の移民の歴史を読み、改めてその壮絶な状況に驚嘆する。また、リ アリティに富む個人の投稿記事を通して世界にまたがる多くの日系人の方々の生き様を発見できる ので、素晴らしいサイトであると私は思う。

今回、私は祖父のシアトルへの移住経験について投稿させていただいたが、原稿を書きながら、あ る発見をすることができた。私は長いこと、戦後ずっと日本の小学校で教師を務めていた父親は、 うだつのあがらない平凡な小学校教員だと思っていた。しかし今回、父がシアトルに生まれた日系 アメリカ人で、アメリカで子供時代、青春時代を過ごしたということを再認識し、実は父は世界を 知るスケールの大きい凄い先生だったのだと初めて見直すことができた。この発見はひとえにデ ィスカバーニッケイへの投稿のお蔭であった。

新舛育雄さんの記事を読む (日本語&英語)>>

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Read the Nikkei Heroes >>

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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation