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Nima are members of the Discover Nikkei online community called Nima-kai. Join our community and share your stories about the Nikkei experience. Click an icon on the map to connect with Nima around the world!

*The term “Nima” comes from combining Nikkei and nakama (Japanese for “colleagues”, or “fellows”, or “circle”).

Nima of the Month

ryusukekawai (Kanagawa, Japan)

Ryusuke Kawai is a Japanese journalist and writer. He was previously a reporter for Mainichi Shinbun, but now works independently. He has written many books, including Yamato Colony: The Pioneers Who Brought Japan to Florida. He has been an active contributor on Discover Nikkei since 2010, exploring diverse topics such as John Okada’s No-No Boy, the Moriguchi family in Seattle who started the Uwajimaya Japanese markets, and reviews of Japanese American literature. He was previously named Nima of the Month in February 2015.

His current series presents letters exchanged by Issei Sukeji “George” Morikami and his sister-in-law’s family after the war. Morikami was a member of the pre-war Yamato Colony in Florida. Following World War II, he purchased land and continued to farm on his own. He later donated land to Palm Beach County where the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is now located.

[EN]
With over 150 articles published within six series on Discover Nikkei from 2010 to now, why do you feel it’s important to continue sharing your stories on our site?

After a year spent in America in 1986, as a nonfiction writer I became very interested in people’s lives which straddled two countries. I’m attracted to the site especially when I think about the relationship between Japan and the war that had a huge impact on the idea of how the Japanese should be.

What is the most meaningful thing that has happened as a result of your connection to Discover Nikkei?

When I write a piece of nonfiction, I interview people, do research, and learn new facts. I also get to think about the meanings behind those facts. The most inspiring and meaningful thing for me is that I get to discover things and contemplate in the process of reporting and writing essays.

Read his articles >>

[JA]
Q. 2010年から今にかけて150以上ものエッセイを6つのシリーズを通して書いてくださっていますが、ディスカバーニッケイへエッセイを書きづつける意義は何でしょうか?

1986年に1年間アメリカで暮らしたことがきっかけになって、ノンフィクションを書くものとして、2つの国にまたがった人生に非常に興味をもつようになりました。特に、日本と日本人のあり方に多大な影響を及ぼした戦争との関係を考えると、(ディスカバーニッケイには)なおさら惹かれるものがあります。  

Q. ディスカバーニッケイへエッセイをシェアすることで得た最も有意義なことは何でしょうか?

ノンフィクションを書くということは、取材し、調べ、新たな事実を知ることにもなります。加えてその事実の意味を考察することになります。エッセイを書くなかで取材をし、こうした新たな発見をし考察できることがもっとも新鮮で、有意義なことです。

彼のストーリーを読む >>

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