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A Mother's Farewell to Heart Mountain


Late last month I attended a pilgrimage to Heart Mountain, Wyoming, the former U.S. Government concentration camp where my mother and her family were placed for three years during World War II. My mother had not been back to Heart Mountain for 70 years, since she left as a ...

Plumbing the Mystique of Washoku Traditional Japanese Cuisine


Kyoto—In a well-appointed kitchen at the La Carriere Cooking School in Kyoto, Japan, Hawaii-born chef Aaron Pate carefully assembled the dish he hoped would win him gold at the Washoku World Challenge 2015 (WWC). A chef at Seattle’s Shiro’s Sushi, his idea was a tonyu (soy milk ...

The Nisei Project


The stories of the valiant all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Infantry Regiment of World War II have been told in art forms ranging from haiku to the graphic novel. But choreographer Marla Hirokawa may well be the first person to bring the tale of discrimination, imprisonment, and battlefield ...

JAJA: A Home Away From Home for Japanese Americans and Japanese in New York


I lived in Manhattan for 13 years before I went to my first JAJA meeting. An acronym for Japanese Americans and Japanese in America, JAJA is an informal group that meets monthly in a large and accommodating loft space near Union Square. On my first visit, I exited the elevator ...

Native Sons of Fresno, California Look Back


I’m writing a Densho Encyclopedia entry now on the poet Lawson Fusao Inada. He’s a third-generation Japanese American who was locked up in three different U.S. government prisons during World War II.

Fishing as a Form of Defiance: Cory Shiozaki and "The Manzanar Fishing Club"


In 2004, The Los Angeles Times published an article about a mysterious man, identified only as “Ishikawa, Fisherman,” taken at the California World War II U.S. government prison camp Manzanar. Included in the story was a photo of Ishikawa, his face weathered and brown, holding a line of what ...

Roger Shimomura, Artist, Collector


Earlier this week, I attended the opening of Japanese American artist Roger Shimomura’s exhibit at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute’s new digs at 8 Washington Mews, a part of New York University.

Book Review: Exploring the Borderlands of Race, Nation, Sex and Gender


Growing up in predominantly white Marin County, mixed-race yonsei Akemi Johnson hates her name and just wants to blend in. In college, though, her attitude changes. She studies race and ethnicity and travels to Japan. Though her stated purpose there is to study issues around the American bases in Okinawa ...

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.

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 ...

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I am a New York City-based freelance writer who covers culture, food, art, Japanese-American life and history, health, and my West Village neighborhood. I am the co-author of The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders: Supporting Self-Esteem, Healthy Eating & Positive Body Image at Home. Web site: www.nancymatsumoto.com; blog: http://nancymatsumoto.blogspot.com/.


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