Nima of the Month

Nima are members of our Discover Nikkei Nima-kai community. Our Nima of the Month are some of our most active participants. Learn more about them and what they like about Discover Nikkei.

Julho 2020

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.

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 >>

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?


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?


彼のストーリーを読む >>

Junho 2020

marissa (San Jose, California, United States)

Marissa is a Girl Scout from south San Jose, who is part of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Girl Scouts. She wrote a series of stories on Japanese immigrants detained on Angel Island during World War II as part of her Gold Award project, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Working in conjunction with Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, her final plan is to create an exhibit dedicated to the Japanese experience on Angel Island during World War II. She is very interested in sharing stories on the Japanese incarceration to members of each new generations, so that their pain will never be forgotten but used to create a better future.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

My favorite part about Discover Nikkei is how it connects so many people from so many different places and countries. Just reading all these stories brings this feeling of warmth and inclusion, with the Japanese community from around the world coming together to help preserve and share their culture. The fact that I get to participate in that is amazing! It shows me that I can make a difference, and helps me reach much wider audiences.

All of the articles are so interesting, they share the unique parts of different cultures with the world, and I learn something new every time I read them. By learning about the Japanese communities in different countries, I learn to broaden my horizons and open my eyes to the rest of the world. This global connectivity brings people from different countries, cultures, and religions together to share their stories and knowledge with the world, and I believe that this is what matters most in these uncertain times.

Read her articles >>

Maio 2020

tnimura (Washington, United States)

Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American (Sansei/Pinay) freelance writer, community journalist, and public historian. She grew up in Northern California and now lives in the Pacific Northwest.

We first came across Tamiko when we found an article she had written about Ichiro leaving the Seattle Mariners in 2012. We were happy to republish it on Discover Nikkei, and since then, she has been contributing stories on Discover Nikkei regularly about Nikkei in the Tacoma/Seattle area, as well as other topics dear to her.

Her submission to the first Nikkei Chronicles: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture was selected as an editorial committee favorite. She has also served on the editorial committees for the Nikkei Names (#3) and Nikkei Roots (#7) special series. She was previously selected as Nima of the Month in March 2013.

With 75 articles published on Discover Nikkei from 2012 to now, why do you feel it’s important to continue sharing your stories on our site? What other stories would you still like to write?

I’ve been so grateful to have the opportunity to cover and grow as a writer and a member of the Japanese American community through Discover Nikkei. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people, places, and causes through this platform, and to highlight their good work.

I’d still like to write more about the Nikkei community in Tacoma, and share more with the community about the two books I’ve been writing. One is a co-written graphic novel about Japanese American wartime resistance and the other is a family memoir in connection with my father’s unpublished memoir about his incarceration in Tule Lake. There are so many lesser-known Nikkei stories in the Pacific Northwest and I hope to continue to research and share them.

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

One of the most meaningful things happened with the translation of my article “My Log Cabin Sukiyaki Song” into all of the site’s languages. This led to being published internationally, in Peru, Canada, Japan, and Brazil. The translation into Japanese meant that I was able to send a piece of my writing to my relatives in Hiroshima, Japan. That I was writing about my father, their cousin, made it so meaningful for me. I don’t speak very much Japanese, and they don’t speak very much English (though their English is much better than my Japanese!).

Read her articles >>

Abril 2020

albertomatsumoto (Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan)

Alberto has dedicated his life to helping Latin American Nikkei living in Japan through legal translations and counseling. He teaches at Kanagawa University, is a published author, and popular speaker.

Alberto has published over 100 articles on Discover Nikkei since 2007 in Spanish and Japanese, mostly through his ongoing The Nikkei of Latin America and Latino Nikkei series. In addition, he does many translations for our project, served on three Nikkei Chronicles editorial committees, and has served as a consultant and advisor on Latin American Nikkei content and issues. Alberto was interviewed by Discover Nikkei in 2019. He was previously named Nima of the Month in October 2010.

Why is it important for you to share stories about Nikkei in Japan on Discover Nikkei?

Becoming more familiar with the Nikkei residents of Japan is also a great opportunity to understand and learn about the Nikkei of Latin America, the United States, and sometimes even from Asia. The settlement of Latino Nikkei in Japan is a process similar to that faced by Japanese immigrants a century ago. At that time, they had to build their lives from nothing or from very little and overcome uncertainty about how to educate their children and plan for their future. It would make me very happy to know that my writing helps guide this integration process.

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

Participating in Discover Nikkei has enabled me to get to know the Nikkei of Latin America as well as the United States and Canada. At events such as COPANI (Convention of Pan American Nikkei) I was able to meet some of these distinguished leaders in person. Through this network of relationships, I’ve learned many things and I hope to share that knowledge within my own society. I feel that by writing articles and translating histories and stories, Nikkei can learn about many experiences that will broaden their own vision of the world and of society.

Read Alberto’s stories >>

¿Por qué es importante para usted compartir historias sobre los nikkei en Japón en Descubra a los Nikkei?

Conocer mejor a los nikkei residentes de Japón implica también una gran oportunidad para conocer e interiorizarse sobre los nikkei de América Latina, de los Estados Unidos y en ocasiones también de Asia. Este asentamiento de los nikkei latinos en Japón es un proceso similar que los inmigrantes japoneses se enfrentaron un siglo antes, donde tuvieron que construir sus vidas desde la nada o con muy poco, donde dudaron cómo educar a sus hijos y cómo planificar su futuro. Si mis escritos sirven para orientar este proceso de integración me sentiré sumamente satisfecho.

¿Cuál ha sido la cosa más significativa que le ha ocurrido como resultado de su conexión con Descubra a los Nikkei?

Mi participación en Discover Nikkei me ha permitido conocer no solo a los nikkei de América Latina sino también a los de Estados Unidos y Canadá y en ocasiones como la COPANI (Convención Panamericana Nikkei) pude conocer en persona a algunos de estos prestigiosos líderes. A través de esta red de relaciones pude aprender muchas cosas y espero poder retribuir estos conocimientos en mi propia sociedad. Escribiendo artículos o traduciendo historias y relatos siento que que los nikkei pueden conocer muchísimas vivencias que permitirían ampliar su visión del mundo y de la sociedad.

Lea las historias de Alberto >>

Q. ディスカバー・ニッケイへ日本住む日系人のストーリをシェアすることの重要性は何ですか?


Q. ディスカバー・ニッケイへ参加することで得た最も有意義なことは何ですか?


アルベルト・松本さんの記事を読む >>

Março 2020

takako70 (Illinois, United States)

Takako Day is a Shin-Issei originally from Kobe, Japan, who has lived in the US for nearly 30 years. She is an award-winning freelance writer and independent researcher who has published seven books and hundreds of articles in Japanese and English. Working as a reporter at the Nichibei Times in San Francisco, CA, first opened her eyes to social and cultural issues in multicultural America. Her latest book, Show Me the Way to Go Home: The Moral Dilemma of Kibei No No Boys in World War Two Incarceration Camps, is her first book in English.

Takako has been sharing stories about pre-war Issei pioneers and Nisei in Chicago on Discover Nikkei since 2016, including a series about the lives of four Japanese in Chicago and the Midwest who were arrested on suspicion of espionage during World War II. We are currently in the process of publishing her most recent 3-part article about shoyu(soy sauce) in Chicago.

We asked her what she liked about Discover Nikkei and this is what she replied:

[EN] Now that I've lived in the US longer than in Japan where I was born and grew up, and I am now at age of an official senior citizen, I am sometimes at a loss to answer the question, “Why am I now in the US?”

As if responding to my uncertainty, Discover Nikkei helps me look into “me” and empowers me with the valuable stories and experiences of Nikkei all over the world. Their stories give me peace of mind and help me look forward to the years ahead.

Read Takako’s stories (English only) >>

[JA] いよいよ日本よりもアメリカ生活の方が長くなり、高齢者と呼ばれる年齢になると、時々ふと「なぜ私は今アメリカにいるのだろう」という不安な気持ちに襲われます。そんなとき、「ディスカバーニッケイ」で、さまざまな土地と時代を生き抜いた人々の生き様を知ると、まるで「ディスカバーミー」のエネルギーをもらうかのようです。それは、私に与えられた”これからの時間”への安心感につながっています。

タカコさんのエッセイを読む(英語のみ) >>

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