Yoshimi Kawashima

Yoshimi Kawashima is currently a sophomore at University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in East Asian Studies, with a concentration in Japan. She is also the current secretary for UCLA's Nikkei Student Union and wants to familiarize herself with the Japanese American culture and community.

Updated August 2009

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GIDRA: The Voice of the Asian American Movement

Barefoot Journalism. A three-headed Japanese monster. Youth struggling to define themselves in a society still healing itself yet turning its judgmental eyes upon victims. What relationship could these three entities possibly share?

In April 1969 a group of students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) founded a newspaper dubbed Gidra, a monthly publication that took a radically progressive political position. These five students—Mike Murase, Dinora Gil, Laura Ho, Colin Watanabe, and Tracy Okida—desired a visual media that would bring to light issues not featured in the mainstream media. Dubbed by the authors as the “Voice of ...

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Japanese American Activism: Where Does It Stand Today?

When we think about Japanese American activism we may immediately think of the iconic 1980s Redress Movement. But what about JA activism today?

Glenn Omatsu defines JA Activism as “not simply a set of beliefs or a series of actions; more accurately, it is a way of living. It is practicing militant humility in transforming society while transforming ourselves.”

Rather than defining JA Activism as what it is today, delineating this entity by a set time period, we should address it as how has its legacy been passed down and expanded over the years.

On November 5, 2011, a major ...

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Celebrating the 30 Year Legacy of the Nikkei Student Union at UCLA

A room erupts in a roar of laughter, a well-prepared yet spontaneous meeting of the Nikkei Student Union. This joyous gathering is a typical event every Tuesday at 6PM on the UCLA campus, bringing together students who share a common interest—the Japanese American culture. Whether it is the rich history, delicious food, ikemen idols, nostalgic J-league basketball, or just a place to make new friends, NSU becomes a home away from home for students searching for their niche in college.

As this year marks our 30th Anniversary NSU will be hosting a banquet on Saturday, January 21, 2012. Over ...

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42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: The Passage of Time

The dust stirred gently in the opaque light of the rising sun, drifting along the near empty road. Eyes still drowsy from the four-hour trip, mind still struggling to awake from rising with the dawn light, we finally reached the parking lot which would lead to the Manzanar National Historic Site—my second time at the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since my freshman year at UCLA.

When I went to my first Manzanar Pilgrimage in April 2009, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I was only newly exposed to the history of Japanese American Internment, and now, physically stepping ...

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Intertwining a People's History and a People's Identity: An Intern's Reflections

When I first applied for the George and Sakaye Community Internship through the UCLA Asian American Studies Center I felt it important to expand my horizons and further delve into the history and current conditions of the Japanese American community. However, the Japanese American National Museum was a daunting choice. Though many aspects of it caught my interest—housing the Japanese American legacy, making accessible artifacts and works of contemporary artists, passing on the personal accounts of knowledgeable docents—I was apprehensive because I knew so little about Japanese American history. Sadly, I had never even set foot within the ...

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