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APA Spotlight

Craig Ishii, Japanese American Citizens League Pacific

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Craig Ishii is the Regional Director with the Japanese American Citizens League Pacific Southwest District (JACL Pacific Southwest District). Craig is a 2007 graduate of UCLA, majoring in history and economics. He was an active member of the Nikkei Student Union (NSU) at UCLA where he was involved in a ...

Koji's Column

ニッケイ・スピリット

コウジ・スティーブン・サカイ

I remember as a child knowing that I didn’t look “American” and because of that sometimes I didn’t feel “American” either. As a person of color living in the United States, these truths are self-evident, even if no one has ever said it to my face. And a ...

The People I've Slept With: The Movie

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When Quentin Lee (director/producer), Stanley Yung (producer), Karin Anna Cheung (the star), and I (writer/producer) met the first time, we knew right away that we wanted to make an Asian American date movie where an Asian American male and an Asian American female actually fall in love. The ...

Koji's Column

What Would You Do?

コウジ・スティーブン・サカイ

I am a coward. It’s easy to fight racism when it’s in the abstract, but it’s so much harder to do it when it smacks you in the face. I was smacked and didn’t do anything. Actually, I just ran away.

Koji's Column

We All Look Alike

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Do all Asians look alike? Where does such a stereotype come from? I’ve recently spent a lot of time studying other Asian folks—especially Japanese people—to see if there are any similarities between them and me. Personally, I think I look pretty damn unique—and handsome. My mother ...

Koji's Column

Embarrassment

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I admit that I cringe whenever I see or hear of an Asian American or Japanese American doing something stupid, embarrassing, or downright immoral and unlawful. I always feel as though it reflects badly on myself.

Koji's Column

Names & Inaugurations

コウジ・スティーブン・サカイ

Names have power. Names convey a message about who you are, where you come from, and has at times in our history meant that you were either on our side or “theirs.” My name is Koji Steven Sakai, what does that say about me?

Koji's Column

I Think My Grandfather Was a Spy

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I think my nisei grandfather was a spy for Japan during the Second World War. I know that’s a loaded thing to say in the Japanese American community, but the more I find out, the more certain I become of it.

Koji's Column

I’m a Racist

コウジ・スティーブン・サカイ

A couple of weekends ago I found out I was a racist. Not the white pillow case over my head kind but something quieter, more insidious. It’s made me rethink my own racial sensitivity and question the times where I’ve felt racially offended.

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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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