Koji's Column

My Mother, My Anchor


My father died in my early twenties. His death devastated me in ways that I am still dealing with today—more than 13 years later. At his funeral, I read his eulogy and told him how much I loved/admired him but the hardest part of it all was that ...

Interview with Jamie Ford, Author of "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet"


As public programs manager at the Japanese American National Museum, I receive a lot of books about the Japanese American experience. But my favorite book that I have received so far was Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

APA Spotlight

Gina Hiraizumi, Actress/Singer


Gina Hiraizumi is one of the hardest working people in Hollywood. I’ve been a big fan of her from afar but recently we were both invited to Japan for a conference and I found out that not only is she a super talented actor/singer, but also one of ...

APA Spotlight

Bill Watanabe, Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center


Bill Watanabe, for the past 30 years, has been the Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), a multipurpose social welfare agency in the Little Tokyo district in downtown Los Angeles. Starting as a one-person office, Bill, together with the Board of Directors, has developed a comprehensive program ...

APA Spotlight

Tom Ikeda, Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project


Tom Ikeda is the founding Executive Director of Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project. Using web technology, Densho provides access to over 400 video testimonies, 10,000 historical photos and documents, and in-depth teacher resources to explore principles of democracy by examining the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans.

APA Spotlight

Akira Uchimura of the Nikkei Youth Network


One of the people I met on my recent trip to Japan was Akira Uchimura, the Executive Director of the Nikkei Youth Network. He brought together a whole bunch of Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) from all over the world for a conference about Nikkei issues. Being one of the ...

APA Spotlight

Athena Mari Asklipiadis, Mixed Marrow


Athena Mari Asklipiadis, who is of Japanese, Greek, Armenian, Italian, and Egyptian descent, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting. In 2002, Athena first stepped onto the multiracial/multiethnic scene by writing for Eurasian Nation ...

APA Spotlight

Rick Shiomi, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts


Rick Shiomi has been one of the leaders of the Asian American theater movement for over twenty-five years. He is a co-founder of Mu Performing Arts (based in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and has been the Artistic Director since 1993.

APA Spotlight

Ken Tanabe, Loving Day


Ken Tanabe is the founder and president of Loving Day. Loving Day is an educational community project that fights racial prejudice through education and builds multicultural community. Loving Day Celebrations commemorate the legalization of interracial couples in America. In 2009, there were Loving Day Celebrations in 31 cities in 3 ...

APA Spotlight

Chris Aihara, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center


Chris Aihara is the Executive Director of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC), one of the largest ethnic cultural centers of its kind in the U.S. She was the former Chair of the Little Tokyo Community Council, a member of the Mayor’s Little Tokyo Community Advisory Committee ...

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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 (www.discovernikkei.org/en/) and 8Asians (www.8Asians.com). 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 (www.janm.org). He is in charge of the concerts, lectures, workshops, family days, screenings, and other public events.


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