Stuff contributed by tnimura

Uncovering Tacoma's Nikkei Past: The Japanese Language School Memorial

Tamiko Nimura

The taiko players are warming up, their arms circling up in the air and back towards the drums. I’m standing on a gravel path, near a Japanese maple tree. There are metal lines running along the ground, which seems strange until I remember that I’m standing at the ...

It’s Not Just About History: Visiting the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Tamiko Nimura

It’s hard to describe the shock of recognition when sepia history meets full-color present, when they can align so precisely. That’s one of the many gifts that the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial gives to its visitors.

The Circles of Bon Odori

Tamiko Nimura

Although I am not Buddhist, the circles of Bon Odori have always spoken to me. All the circles of dancers, all of their arms even raised in circles, mimicking the full moon. The round uchiwa fans, the strings of rounded lanterns bobbing slightly in the breeze, the circular heads of ...

"Infinity and Chashu Ramen": An Interview With Filmmaker Kerwin Berk

Tamiko Nimura

Two spirits are roaming through San Francisco’s Japantown. They’re charged with setting the universe right. One’s a bright-eyed young lady named Lucy Yamaguchi; the other is a 400-year-old foul-mouthed, crotchety spirit named Tenshi. She’s new to the job; he should probably have retired a few centuries ...

A Circuit Left Open: Thoughts from the Tule Lake Pilgrimage, 2014

Tamiko Nimura

How else to say this? I am still returning. I don’t know how the telling will ever feel complete. What no one told me about the pilgrimage, what no one could have prepared me for, is how much longer the return has been than the journey itself.

The Fabric That Makes the Story: Interview with Dawn Yanagihara, Kiriko

Tamiko Nimura

Kasuri. Boro. Shibori. These words might not mean much to you if you don’t think very much about textiles or Japanese arts and crafts. But for Gosei Dawn Yanagihara, the words also represent a deep connection to her Japanese ancestry and the passion that helped her co-found her Portland-based ...

Celebrating the Child: Kodomo no Hi in Seattle

Tamiko Nimura

My youngest daughter and I are holding a brush together, because she wants me to help her write the symbol for “ko.” Next to our sheet of paper, there is a small block of ink and a pool of water. “Nihongo de? Eigo de?” the calligraphy teacher is asking me ...

This is What It Means to Say Hanami in Seattle

Tamiko Nimura

Each time I’ve tried to write about hanami in Seattle, there’s something that makes me hesitate.

Recipe for an Improvised Girls’ Day

Tamiko Nimura

Girls’ Day at our house this year meant pink and green mochi, a box stand with Emperor and Empress origami dolls, and a stack of oatmeal pancakes.

Eggplant Zucchini Okazu (Okazu Nimura-Style)

Tamiko Nimura

When Josh and I were in college and just learning how to live together, we also had to figure out how to cook together. It didn’t take long to find our go-to multicultural meal plan: chicken, vegetables, rice (Asian nights!). Or, chicken, vegetables, pasta (Italian nights!). We had lots ...

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About

Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American (Sansei/Pinay) freelance writer, community journalist, and public historian. She grew up in Northern California and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is co-writing a graphic novel for the Wing Luke Asian Museum. She is working on a children’s book and a family memoir responding to her father’s unpublished memoir of his wartime imprisonment at Tule Lake.

Nikkei interests

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

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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