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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

Masaji (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Norm Ibuki (Masaji) has written extensively about the Canadian Nikkei community since the early 1990s. Since 2009, he has been one of Discover Nikkei’s most prolific contributors; in March 2010, he was named Nima of the Month. In addition to continuing to share Canadian stories on our site, he has also introduced many Canadian readers and writers to Discover Nikkei.

[EN] I remember being a kid in suburban Toronto in the 1970s and ’80s, reading the stories of Frank Moritsugu and Terry Watada in the now defunct New Canadian newspaper for Japanese Canadians. Even then, I had an inkling that I wanted to take up the Nikkei cause in my small way and help to tell the JC story. Now, after more than two decades of interviewing JCs and writing about us from here and from Japan where I lived for nine years, I know that every one of our individual stories is unique and compelling and has an audience of eager readers who want to know more.

By reading the stories in Discover Nikkei, I’ve learned that we are a strong and resilient community that has contributed a lot to the making of Canada. We should never forget the Issei who dared to leave Japan in the late 1800s and who were not defeated by racism, World War II dispossession and internment, and even “dispersal” east of the Rockies and to Japan. Their legacy survives.

Our leaders today know that education is the key. If you are an educator as I am, I would encourage you to teach our history to your students. Share your stories. Every lesson is a step toward ensuring that the next generation is a better informed one. To our elders, please share your personal stories. And, to younger Nikkei, please ask your relatives about their experiences. Share family pictures and memories of life in BC where the vast majority of our stories began. We come from a remarkable people.

Finally, what really drives my continued commitment to writing for Discover Nikkei is the thought that there might be a kid out there reading my stories who might be influenced in some small way—just as I was, way back when, by Frank and Terry.

Read Norm’s articles >>

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