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Koji's Column

A Japanese American Writer’s Perspective on Writing

Koji Steven Sakai

Is it okay for a person who is non-Japanese American to write about the Japanese American (JA) experience? My immediate reaction is no. I’m sick of other people writing my history and stories. I’m sick of having my culture hijacked, even by those who have the best of ...

Koji's Column

Marrying Japanese

Koji Steven Sakai

My mother has given me a preference list on which races I should/could marry. First on that illustrious list is Japanese. Since my mother is Japanese, she wants to make sure she has someone to speak to when she’s old and forgets English. Next is Caucasian, because according ...

Koji's Column

Sticks and Stones

Koji Steven Sakai

For the last year I have been working on a feature length screenplay that deals with Asian American identity. During my research I went online to look for all the racial slurs people use to express their hatred of Asian/Asian Americans. The sheer number of them took me by ...

Koji's Column

What am I?

Koji Steven Sakai

I did Kendo (Japanese sword fighting) for almost 15 years. I ate rice almost every meal growing up. I understand Japanese. I root for Japanese baseball players. I work at a Japanese American institution. Should I then be considered Japanese? What does that really mean?

Koji's Column

Citizen First

Koji Steven Sakai

Anyone who wasn’t actively helping the Jews and other displaced people in Nazi Germany were as culpable for the crimes against humanity as any of the SS soldiers we all like to vilify. The citizens of a country have the moral obligation to ensure that their government does not ...

Koji's Column

Samurais, Ninjas - Oh My!

Koji Steven Sakai

A good friend of mine who works for a Japanese American historical organization recently received the following e-mail and wanted me to write back to them.

Koji's Column

To my unborn child: Tojo Sakai

Koji Steven Sakai

I am going to name my future unborn child Tojo Sakai. My first generation mom thinks it’s not only stupid but a bad idea. Of course, this is the same parent who told me that I shouldn’t try to grow a mullet. Obviously, she’s an unreliable advice ...

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Koji Steven Sakai has written two feature films that have been produced; Haunted Highway and The People I’ve Slept With.

Koji is a graduate from the University of Southern California’s Masters of Professional Writing program. He has held several fellowships, starting with the most recent, which include: The Writers Boot Camp Fellowship (2009), The Producers Guild: Power of Diversity Workshop (2009), Film Independent’s Project: Involve (2007), Visual Communication’s Armed With a Camera (2006), and Screenwriting Expo 4: New Visions Fellowship award (2005).

In addition to his work in film, Koji is a regular contributor to Discover Nikkei ( and 8Asians ( He also contributed a story (Meet Joe) to Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, the first graphic novel anthology written/drawn/and about Asian Americans. Secret Identities was released by New Press in April of 2009.

Koji is the manager of public programs at the Japanese American National Museum ( He is in charge of the concerts, lectures, workshops, family days, screenings, and other public events.

Intereses Nikkei

  • historias de comunidades
  • historias familias
  • festivales/matsuri
  • japonesa/comida nikkei
  • Japantowns

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