Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía

Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía es un espacio destinado a la comunidad nikkei para compartir historias a través de diversas composiciones sobre cultura, historia y experiencia personal. La columna presentará una amplia variedad de formas poéticas y contenido con temas que incluyen historia, raíces, identidad; historia—el pasado en el presente; la comida como ritual, celebración y legado; rituales y supuestos de tradiciones; lugar, ubicación y comunidad así como el amor.

Hemos invitado a la autora, artista y poetisa traci kato-kiriyama para que sea la curadora de esta columna de poesía mensual, en donde publicaremos a uno o dos poetas los tercer jueves de cada mes, desde escritores mayores o jóvenes que recién empiezan en la poesía a autores publicados de todo el país. Esperamos descubrir una red de voces vinculadas entre sí a través de innumerables diferencias y experiencias conectadas.

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Roots and Branches

Happy spring everyone! This month, we’re excited to feature two poets who both happen to be based in Japan. Micah Tasaka, a queer, genderfluid, mixed race Yonsei artist originally from the Inland Empire now based in Fukui prefecture; and Yoshika Wason, a second generation, mixed race artist who hails from Aomori, Japan via Massachusetts and Connecticut. Their pieces here harken back and forth from past circumstance to present choice, in reflection of the way our memories, our native tongues, our very existence, was and continues to be shaped. Enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Yoshika Wason is a teacher, poet, and storyteller ...

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Circles, Cycles, Commemoration

This month, as we commemorate EO 9066, we thought it fitting to honor one of our longest standing and veteran poets, Mitsuye Yamada. At 95 years of age, she has been published for several decades and is still going. Here, she shares with us some previous work as well as a new piece from her forthcoming book, FULL CIRCLE. Enjoy the poetic fire of the great Mitsuye Yamada...

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Mitsuye Yamada was born in Kyushu, Japan in 1923. She grew up in Seattle, Washington.

In 1942, when Mitsuye was 17, her family was among 120,000 persons of Japanese ...

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Japanese American Women Speak

For this month’s column, opening us into a whole new year, I’m so happy to feature healer and artist kyoko nakamaru and filmmaker Tani Ikeda, who together are co-founders of JAWS — Japanese American Women Speak. They are both based in Los Angeles, California (Kyoko via Wisconsin and Iowa, and Tani via Seattle). Both selections here are impassioned pieces by two fierce Nikkei who call on us to listen, respond and heal with the world around us.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Kyoko Nakamaru is an interdisciplinary artist, storyteller, writer, spiritual counselor, and hobby musician who uses her relationship with ancestors and ...

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Sansei

As a younger Sansei/older Yonsei, I've been reflecting a lot on the big sisters and cousins of the Sansei generation who have raised or influenced many of us in our activism, community involvement, and understanding of ourselves as connected to others. This month, we feature pieces of generational and personal reflection from two Sansei - writer Patricia Takayama from the San Fernando Valley, and NCRR founding member, Janice Yen, who is based in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Janice Iwanaga Yen is a retired retailer and long-time community volunteer. She is a founding member of NCRR (National Coalition for ...

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Longing

This month, we feature poetry in Nihongo (with English translation) from Tomiko Matsumoto and Gennosuke Matsumoto, who were both originally from Chiba and eventually married there, before living in Seattle and later imprisoned in the Heart Mountain, Wyoming concentration camp during World War II. Their poetry here comes through that lens—two short tales of lamentation.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Tomiko Matsumoto was was born on August 30, 1900 in Nakano (current Kimitsu city), Chiba Prefecture, and immigrated to Seattle in the early 1920s. She and her family were imprisoned at Heart Mountain, Wyoming from 1943 to 1945. There, under the poet ...

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