Stuff contributed by nmatsumoto

JAJA: A Home Away From Home for Japanese Americans and Japanese in New York

Nancy Matsumoto

I lived in Manhattan for 13 years before I went to my first JAJA meeting. An acronym for Japanese Americans and Japanese in America, JAJA is an informal group that meets monthly in a large and accommodating loft space near Union Square. On my first visit, I exited the elevator ...

Native Sons of Fresno, California Look Back

Nancy Matsumoto

I’m writing a Densho Encyclopedia entry now on the poet Lawson Fusao Inada. He’s a third-generation Japanese American who was locked up in three different U.S. government prisons during World War II.

Fishing as a Form of Defiance: Cory Shiozaki and "The Manzanar Fishing Club"

Nancy Matsumoto

In 2004, The Los Angeles Times published an article about a mysterious man, identified only as “Ishikawa, Fisherman,” taken at the California World War II U.S. government prison camp Manzanar. Included in the story was a photo of Ishikawa, his face weathered and brown, holding a line of what ...

Roger Shimomura, Artist, Collector

Nancy Matsumoto

Earlier this week, I attended the opening of Japanese American artist Roger Shimomura’s exhibit at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute’s new digs at 8 Washington Mews, a part of New York University.

Book Review: Exploring the Borderlands of Race, Nation, Sex and Gender

Nancy Matsumoto

Growing up in predominantly white Marin County, mixed-race yonsei Akemi Johnson hates her name and just wants to blend in. In college, though, her attitude changes. She studies race and ethnicity and travels to Japan. Though her stated purpose there is to study issues around the American bases in Okinawa ...

Bringing New Life to Japanese American Hero Gordon Hirabayashi's Story

Nancy Matsumoto

Three men, Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui, defied President Franklin Roosevelt’s order to 110,000 West Coast Japanese to submit to evacuation and imprisonment during World War II. Among their stories, Gordon Hirabayashi’s has always struck me as the most dramatic.

Japanese American Chefs in New York City: Yuhi Fujinaga & Craig Koketsu

Nancy Matsumoto

In addition to contributing to Discover Nikkei, I write for Cravings, a site devoted to exploring the best in food, drink, culture and travel. Editor-in-Chief Celia Sin-Tien Cheng and her sister Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng are global travelers who bring home favorites from every metropolis and hamlet they touch down in ...

Tradition: Osechi

Nancy Matsumoto

Japanese Americans welcome the New Year with a special feast that can take weeks to prepare.In the waning days of December in the small, hot kitchen of East Restaurant in Kips Bay, chef Syozo Tsurunaga is directing a small army of assistants as they prepare the annual New Year ...

Retrospective: Magic and Beauty in the Art of Patrick Nagatani

Nancy Matsumoto

To call Patrick Nagatani a photographer, or even a fine art photographer, seems like such a wan, inadequate description because his work—30 years’ worth of which will be displayed in two Los Angeles exhibits beginning this month—is so richly layered with cultural symbols, narratives, dreams and memories. He ...

A new musical set in Heart Mountain, an indy film featuring Manzanar

Nancy Matsumoto

Last week, I attended a workshop production of a musical called Allegiance, which tells the tale of the unconstitutional imprisonment of 120,000 West Coast residents of Japanese descent during World War II. The show is being developed by the Old Globe in San Diego, with music and lyrics by ...

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About

I am a Toronto and New York City-based freelance writer who covers food, agriculture and the environment for publications including The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Civil Eats. Nancy is the co-author of The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders: Supporting Self-Esteem, Healthy Eating & Positive Body Image at Home. She is a 2018 Stone Barns Exchange Fellow and a certified advanced sake professional.Web site: www.nancymatsumoto.com; blog: http://nancymatsumoto.blogspot.com/.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns

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