ナオミ・ヒラハラ

(Naomi Hirahara)

Naomi Hirahara is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes, Officer Ellie Rush series, and now the new Leilani Santiago mysteries. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, she has written a number of nonfiction books on the Japanese American experience and several 12-part serials for Discover Nikkei.

Updated October 2019

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Nanka Nikkei Voices

Nanka Nikkei Voices: The Japanese American Family

The Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California launched their fourth publication, Nanka Nikkei Voices: The Japanese American Family, in September 2010. The following is a shortened version of the introduction to the volume written by guest editor Naomi Hirahara.

Introduction

I’ve traveled a lot domestically, but I haven’t necessarily spent much time in destination locales. Sure, there have been trips to New York City and Hawaii, but more have been vacation days in the farmlands of California and the wide-open “fly-over” towns in the Midwest.

Along the fog-covered Highway 99 in Central California, where Japanese America on ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Twelve—Matchmaker, Matchmaker

>> Chapter eleven

At least pretend that you’re happy to be here, I scold myself. My best friend Ginnie Lee is getting married. To a nice, decent man. What a concept—two nice people making a lifetime commitment. That’s the mission of my fledgling matchmaking company, Baishakunin, Incorporated, but while business is booming, I’m floundering.

“Um—you’ve taped my finger to my gift.” The wedding guest is right—her manicured index finger is firmly affixed to her white William and Sonoma box with a forest green ribbon tied around it.

I apologize and quickly peel off the ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Eleven—Cold Imagawayaki

>> Chapter ten

Of all the people that I decide to be completely honest with, it shouldn’t be him.  I should be confessing to my best friend, bride-to-be Ginnie Lee; my staff at Baishakunin, Inc; or the guy who I was just starting to date, my landlord Jake Martinez.  But no, I’m not spilling my secrets to any of them.  Instead, I am sitting on the floor of a hallway of a Little Tokyo building, next to my snake of an ex-boyfriend, Rick.  The man who was so scared of the truth that he ran from it and me ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Ten—Honesty Is the Best Policy

>> Chapter nine

“You have to tell him,” says Ginnie, slurping the last bit of noodle in her large ceramic bowl. We are in Mr. Ramen on First Street in Little Tokyo. There’s a more popular ramen house a few storefronts away, but I opt for more quiet and privacy, especially since we are talking about my new relationship with my office landlord, Jake Martinez.

“That I lied about my ex-boyfriend when he had trust issues with his past girlfriend?” Sure doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

“Well, it’s not like you’re secretly seeing Rick ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Nine—Up in Space

>> Chapter eight

I don’t know why I set up my ex-boyfriend with the absolutely best catch in my fledgling dating service. As my best friend Ginny Lee always reminds me, I despise Rick; I have the deleted digital images in my trash folder to prove it (I know, they should be completely off of my computer after seven years). Meanwhile, Michele Sakanashi is gorgeous, has a high-paying job, and even her own duplex. She’s a kind of girl that women would, at first glance, love to hate but after five minutes with her, they’d be out buying ...

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