ナンシー・マツモト

(Nancy Matsumoto)

Nancy Matsumoto is a freelance writer and editor specializing in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food, arts, culture and health. She has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Time, People, Civil Eats, NPR’s The Salt, TheAtlantic.com and the online Densho Encyclopedia of the Japanese American Incarceration, among other publications. She is also the co-author of the book The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders: Supporting Self-Esteem, Healthy Eating & Positive Body Image at Home.

Twitter/Instagram: @nancymatsumoto

Updated June 2017

culture en

Bringing New Life to Japanese American Hero Gordon Hirabayashi's Story

Three men, Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui, defied President Franklin Roosevelt’s order to 110,000 West Coast Japanese to submit to evacuation and imprisonment during World War II. Among their stories, Gordon Hirabayashi’s has always struck me as the most dramatic.

Convinced that Executive Order 9066 was unconstitutional, he possessed the moral courage to defy it. He ignored a curfew placed on targeted Japanese, refused to post bail that would have sent him to a prison camp, and challenged the government on the constitutionality of the Order. Upon conviction, lacking the funds to get himself from ...

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food en

Japanese American Chefs in New York City: Yuhi Fujinaga & Craig Koketsu

In addition to contributing to Discover Nikkei, I write for Cravings, a site devoted to exploring the best in food, drink, culture and travel. Editor-in-Chief Celia Sin-Tien Cheng and her sister Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng are global travelers who bring home favorites from every metropolis and hamlet they touch down in. My contributions to the site include profiles of two Japanese American chefs working in Manhattan: Hawaii-born Basque restaurant chef Yuhi Fujinaga, and San Jose-reared Craig Koketsu, chef-partner for the restaurant group Fourth Wall. Please send in suggestions of other Nikkei chefs you think are deserving of a Cravings profile!  

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Yuhi ...

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food en

Tradition: Osechi

Japanese Americans welcome the New Year with a special feast that can take weeks to prepare.

In the waning days of December in the small, hot kitchen of East Restaurant in Kips Bay, chef Syozo Tsurunaga is directing a small army of assistants as they prepare the annual New Year’s feast known as osechi ryori.

In one corner, three hygienically capped workers de-vein prawns with surgical-looking metal skewers. In another, two young Japanese men fill small square plastic compartments with julienned and vinegared daikon and small candied anchovies. A spiky-topped, bright-green sheet of faux grass, the kind that sprouts ...

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culture en

Retrospective: Magic and Beauty in the Art of Patrick Nagatani

To call Patrick Nagatani a photographer, or even a fine art photographer, seems like such a wan, inadequate description because his work—30 years’ worth of which will be displayed in two Los Angeles exhibits beginning this month—is so richly layered with cultural symbols, narratives, dreams and memories. He is a magician, shaman, set designer, and director who meticulously constructed images recall the fabulous imaginary worlds of Haruki Murakami or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, two of Nagatani’s favorite novelists.

Desire for Magic: Patrick Nagatani, at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), and Then and Now, a group show of ...

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war en

Documenting Manzanar - Part 18 of 18

Read Part 17 >>

Post-script

My exploration of the Mananzar photographs of Adams, Lange, and Miyatake, along with my readings of the historical, memoir, and fictional accounts of the Japanese-American concentration camps brought me a deeper understanding of the hardships, both physical and psychic, my own family and all of those incarcerated faced. Attending the 40th annual Manzanar pilgrimage in April 2009, I pictured the rows and rows of barracks as they must have looked in 1944, a long line of prisoners snaking around the mess hall, groups of children jumping rope, old men playing games of go in the sparse ...

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