Mia Nakaji Monnier

Mia Nakaji Monnier nació en Pasadena, de madre japonesa y padre americano, y ha vivido en once ciudades y pueblos diferentes, incluyendo Kioto – Japón, en el  pequeño pueblo Vermont y en el suburbano Texas. Actualmente, ella estudia  escritura no ficticia en la Universidad de South California y escribe para Rafu Shimpo y Hyphen magazine, y es practicante en Kaya Press. Puede contactarse con ella en: miamonnier@gmail.com

Última actualización en febrero de 2013

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Ben Furuta, the Air Force Academy’s First Cadet of Color

I was conscious of being different, but only in the sense of looking different.

—Ben Furuta

Ben Furuta was only four when his family was forced out of Oakland, California, and incarcerated at Poston during WWII. “I have only flashes of memory, little incidents,” he says, like an image of his father with bandages on his arms, covering chemical burns he received at his camp job, working in the camouflage factory. He remembers older boys, teenagers or young men, who told stories of rattlesnakes in the shade canopies that “scared the bejeezus” out of the little kids.

The family only ...

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Full Disclosure: How My Ambiguous Looks Mean I’m Constantly Coming Out as Biracial

Some years ago, an old friend stopped in L.A. for her summer job, driving across the country in a classic car to promote a vacation rental company. I went out to meet her and her driving partner near their rental in Hollywood, and in an act of company-paid luxury unthinkable to fresh-from-college me, we took a cab to The Stinking Rose for dinner. We settled around our booth table in a dark corner of the restaurant for a meal of garlic dishes, and Liz and John began telling stories about their trip.

Liz and I had met in Texas ...

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A Conversation with Nancy Oda, President of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition

Nancy Oda was very happily retired when she learned about Tuna Canyon.

“Very happily retired,” she says for a second time. “It was like a call to action.”

We’re sitting together in the small back room of the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum, just past Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station, the special display that Oda helped to develop. Four years ago, she may not have heard of the historic site, but it’s since become a central part of her life.

“I’m really happy when I go ...

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Sewing Lessons

My mom and I discovered the Japanese fabric store together two years ago. Under a blue awning, in a part of town we rarely went, these Japanese-print clothes hung in the window, and we both stopped to admire them. The store gave lessons, so we signed up, and for some Saturdays in a row, we sat across from each other at sewing machines, making our own clothes.

It’s hard to untangle all these parts of a simple story about sewing together, mother and daughter. First, there’s the part about making things by hand, like she taught me to ...

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My Life with the Anime Nerds

Last month, I worked at Kinokuniya Bookstore’s booth at Anime Expo for the second year in a row. For two days, I stood in front of a display of posters, phone charms, and T-shirts featuring half-naked manga characters, both female and male. And for two days, I tried not to embarrass customers who walked shyly up to the register, asking if I could take a few life-size, cartoon-girl body-pillowcases out of their plastic packages, so they could see which one they wanted.

I have no interest in anime or manga, and other than a short, obligatory obsession with Pokemon ...

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