2019 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.

Janeiro 2019

gasagasagirl (Pasadena, California, United States)

Naomi Hirahara considers herself a Nisei han—her mother is from Hiroshima, while her father was a Kibei Nisei. A former English editor of The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles, Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a crime-solving Japanese American gardener who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. She has also written and edited many other fiction and non-fiction books and articles featuring Nikkei topics and characters.

Hirahara has been a Nima since 2005, and has contributed numerous stories to Discover Nikkei since 2007. Currently, she pens Killer Roll, her seventh serial exclusively for Discover Nikkei; prior serials have ranged from murder mysteries to romantic comedies. Her most recently completed serial, Trouble on Temple Street: An Office Ellie Rush Mystery, featured a character first introduced in published novels. Hirahara was previously selected Nima of the Month in September 2014.

Killer Roll is your seventh exclusive serial for Discover Nikkei. What is special about publishing your stories on the site?

I can be a hundred-percent Nikkei in my stories and unabashedly integrate ethnic specific topics like baishakunin, strawberry growing, Little Tokyo and okonomiyaki.

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

It's been fun to see non-Nikkei wade into the Discover Nikkei waters. I'm glad that they can enter in through either a mystery and rom-com serial; I hope they will hang around enough to learn about Japanese American culture and history.

Read Naomi’s stories >>

Fevereiro 2019

kateiio (California, United States)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kate Lio has contributed several articles to Discover Nikkei as a volunteer writer and recently interview Mark Nagata of the Japanese American National Museum’s exhibition Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.

Kate’s father was born in Japan and her mother in Taiwan. She has an older sister and two dogs. Currently, she is studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She aspires to build a strong relationship between the US and Japan by cultivating a future of understanding between one another’s culture to create long-lasting relationships.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

What I love most about Discover Nikkei is its global inclusivity of a group of people that often becomes forgotten or left out in our history. It draws attention and awareness through their articles, interviews, and various other resources, creating a greater widespread understanding of these groups. As a writer for Discover Nikkei (DN), I really enjoy interviewing these figures in our community and analyzing their stories to develop a unique piece to share with readers.

I also really appreciate the accessibility of the website and activeness of our writers. There are so many articles to choose and read from that covers every aspect you could think of within the culture. Every article published provides such a fresh, unique perspective that I feel like I am always constantly learning something new about the community. I am very proud to be a part of the DN writing community and am excited to continue contributing to this great community.

Read Kate’s articles >>

Março 2019

KatoSaori (Tōkyō, Japan)

Originally from Yokohama in the Kanagawa prefecture, Kato Saori started contributing to Discover Nikkei earlier this year. Her articles for Discover Nikkei are about Amami Islanders, people who originally hailed from the Northern Ryukyu Islands in Japan, who have immigrated to Brazil. This is closely related to her work at Kanagawa University, where she studied migration and spent one year abroad at São Paulo University in Brazil. In addition to her research she currently serves as an exhibition guide at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

[EN] I think that any person at one point in life questions his or her identity. As for me, there was a time when I wanted to find out who I was and where I came from.

My paternal grandfather was not around for as long as I can remember. So, I only know some parts of my roots on his side, which were told by my grandmother.

Luckily, on my mother’s side, I have some clear memories of having communicated not only with my grandparents but also with my great-grandfather. Even my great-uncle and great-aunt are around now, so I have been able to trace back some generations of my maternal roots.

But my paternal roots are simply one mysterious family - my grandparents who so suddenly appeared on earth. With no trace, it’s almost impossible to trace back their roots before their generation. Now that my grandmother, uncle and aunt are gone, my paternal roots will forever remain a mystery. I have lost them.

I want to leave some records of people who migrated abroad from a place called Amami and those of their offspring. I don’t want their offspring to get lost in their roots like I have. When I thought about it, Discover Nikkei seemed like my perfect choice. I thought that those who have some connections to people recorded there might be able to find a path to their roots, as long as this project keeps going with records of Japanese people and their descendants carried on.

I believe that Discover Nikkei is a time capsule, which will carry stories of people who have explored the world from many parts of Japan and those of their offspring, to future generations. I hope that this wonderful project will continue to grow, and its records will be passed onto Nikkei in 100 years from now.

Read Saori’s articles >>

[JA] 誰もが一度は自分が何者なのかを考えるのではないだろうか。少なくともかつての私は、自分が誰なのか、ルーツがどこにあるのかを探したいと思っていた。
 
幸いにも母方は、祖父母に加えて曽祖父とも、実際に触れ合った思い出が私には残っている。それだけでなく大叔父や大叔母までもが今現在も健在なので、私は母方のルーツを数世代前まで遡って知ることができた。

しかし、私の父方の祖父は、物心ついた時には既に語り合える場所にいなかった。だから父方のルーツについては祖母から聞いた断片的な話しか知らず、私にとっては祖父母の世代から突然この世に現れた謎のファミリーでしかない。祖父母より前の世代については手掛かりもなくルーツを辿ることは非常に困難になってしまった。祖母や伯父伯母達も居なくなってしまった今、もう父方のルーツは永遠の謎になってしまった。私は父方のツールを見失った。

「奄美という場所から外国へ渡った人々とその子孫の記録を残したい。彼らの子孫が私のようにルーツの迷子にならないように・・・」。そう考えた時、ディスカバー・ニッケイが最適だと思った。日本人とその子孫の物語が記録されているこのプロジェクトが続く限り、このサイトに記録された人々に所縁のある人達は自分のルーツの手掛かりを得ることが出来るかもしれないと思ったからだ。

ディスカバー・ニッケイは、日本各地から世界を目指した人々とその子孫の記録を後世に伝えるためのタイムカプセルだと私は思っている。この素晴らしいプロジェクトがずっと続いて、100年後の日系人たちにもこの記録が届きますように。

加藤里織さんの記事を読む >>

Abril 2019

Javiernesto (Lima, Peru)

Javier García Wong-Kit is a Peruvian independent journalist and professor who has written articles for Kaikan magazine, which is published by the Japanese Peruvian Association and is Discover Nikkei’s partnering organization in Peru. He has taught at San Martín de Porres University since 2008 and Universidad Privada del Norte since 2017. He has contributed numerous articles to Discover Nikkei since 2012.

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

For me, the most important thing is always to meet interesting people who make you believe in the future. I am always happy to find people who have read my articles on DN and who congratulate me for my work. A few years ago, a student from Denmark came to Peru and asked me to guide her in her academic research on the Nikkei. It’s my pleasure to help and collaborate with Discover Nikkei by sharing my work and knowledge.

What has been the most surprising reaction/observation you received by sharing stories on Discover Nikkei?

Recently, I met an editor of a major Nikkei institution who told me she was a reader of my work. I was excited because it is someone who is an expert in editing texts. It also gives me great satisfaction when my interviewees read the articles and tell me that they have been moved by the stories they shared with me, when they see them narrated by someone who has just met them.

Read Javier’s articles >>

[ES] ¿Cuál es la cosa más significativa que ha sucedido como resultado de su conexión con Discover Nikkei?

Para mí, lo más importante siempre es conocer gente valiosa que te hace creer en el futuro. Siempre me alegra encontrar personas que han leído mis artículos en DN y que me felicitan por mi trabajo. Hace unos años, una estudiante de Dinamarca vino a Perú y me pidió que la orientara en su investigación académica sobre los nikkei. Es un placer poder ayudar a través de mi trabajo y el conocimiento que me ha dado colaborar con DN.

¿Cuál ha sido la reacción / observación más sorprendente que recibió al compartir historias sobre Discover Nikkei?

Recientemente, conocí a una editora de una importante institución nikkei que me dijo que era lectora de mi trabajo. Me entusiasmó porque se trata de alguien experto en la corrección y la edición de textos. También me da gran satisfacción cuando mis entrevistados leen los artículos y me comentan que se han sentido emocionados por las historias que compartieron conmigo al verlas narradas por alguien que recién los conoce.

Lea los artículos de Javier >>

Maio 2019

lthistory (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) was formed in 2006 to commemorate Japanese American and Japanese history and heritage through various means such as archival collections, photos, exhibits, lectures, and workshops. LTHS operates as an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, comprised of members who have a keen interest in the history of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

LTHS has shared events, photos, and stories on Discover Nikkei since 2006. We partnered with them on a project about Los Angeles’ prewar Japanese Hospital in 2010. As well, the organization has shared winning stories from their annual Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest with Discover Nikkei for the past five years. We will be sharing the sixth year’s winners on our site soon. LTHS was previously Nima of the Month in November 2010.

Why has Discover Nikkei been a good partner for the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest?

One of the most important and fun aspects of Discover Nikkei is that it is a quadrilingual platform (English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese) which provides opportunities for Nikkei worldwide to discover the many similarities Nikkei still have generations after the Issei immigrants arrived and to share the uniqueness of their rich Nikkei culture in their respective language and local community.

2014 was the inaugural year of the Little Tokyo Historical Society’s “Imagine Little Tokyo” Short Story Contest that has included publishing the winning and honorable mention stories (English, Japanese, Youth categories) each year on Discover Nikkei. This allows for LTHS to reach a very broad audience in terms of seeking fictional stories on Little Tokyo (some winners have never been to Little Tokyo!) and circulating the winning stories to a multitude of readers. Thank you Discover Nikkei!

What is unique about Discover Nikkei that makes it a useful platform and project to partner with?

Partnering with Discover Nikkei has been mutually beneficial and easy since the relationship started in 2010. LTHS (based in Los Angeles’ historic Little Tokyo neighborhood) launched its book, Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo (Images of America, 2010), that year and we worked with Discover Nikkei to create our new profile so that a few of the book’s vintage photos of Little Tokyo and background stories were posted. LTHS has also submitted articles on early Japanese American civil rights pioneer, Yamaguchi-ken native, and Little Tokyo newspaper publisher Sei Fujii. LTHS members and friends have also posted articles on various topics.

Read the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Stories Contest stories >>

Junho 2019

monakasone (California, United States)

Makiko Nakasone is an Issei journalist who lives with her Sansei husband, Steve and their two sons in La Cañada Flintridge, California and is also the charter president of the Rotary Club of Little Tokyo. She was formerly a staff writer at The Nihon Keizai Shinbun, also known as The Nikkei the world’s largest financial newspapers. Her articles have also appeared in Asahi Shimbun, Japan Times, Sydney Morning Herald, and others.

Makiko began volunteering for Discover Nikkei in February of 2019 and has written articles profiling individuals in Southern California. She hopes to start writing articles in Japanese for Discover Nikkei as well

[EN] What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

By nature, I’m a curious person, and Discover Nikkei is the only website where I can learn about other Nikkei in Brazil, Hawaii, and the rest of the US. The stories about other Nikkei inspire me to do more for the community. They also give me great ideas about how best we can promote cultural exchanges and better understanding, which has been my dream since childhood.

For a long time, I confessed I was proud to be “Japanese” and not Nikkei as I am a Japanese citizen, active in my local “American” community. However, after living in Los Angeles for almost 30 years, I realize that I am “Nikkei,” particularly to the eyes of non-Japanese. For Discover Nikkei, I would like to focus on the Nikkei who may not receive the spotlight because they are deeply rooted in the local communities who quietly and surely promote Japanese cultures.

Read Makiko’s articles >>

[JA] ディスカバー・ニッケイの何が好きですか?また、それはなぜですか?

元来、好奇心旺盛の私にとって、ロス以外だけでなく、ブラジルやハワイなどに住む日系人について知ることができるウェブサイト「ディスカバー・ニッケイ」があるのはうれしい。他地域に住む日系人の記事を読むことで、ロスの日系社会にもっと貢献すべきだと促されることもある。また、子供の頃からの夢だった、文化交流や相互理解促進について、より良い方法のヒントも得られる。

長いこと、「自分は、日本人」と思いながら、地元米社会に根付いた生活をしてきた。しかし、30年ほどロスに住み、「私も日系だ」と気づいた。米国人の目には、私は「Nikkei」だ。これからは、日系人として、「ディスカバー・ニッケイ」を通して、スポットライトを浴びることなく、地元米社会で地道に、かつ、確実に文化交流を行っている日系人に焦点を置きたいと思う。

中曽根牧子さんの記事を読む >>

Heróis Nikkeis: Pioneiros, Modelos e Inspirações

O prazo para o envio de artigos até 30 de setembro.

Receba novidades

Cadastre-se para novidades por e-mail

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Apoie o projeto

Descubra Nikkei

O site Descubra Nikkei é um lugar once você pode se conectar com outras pessoas e assim participar nas experiências dos nikkeis. Para continuar a manter e expandir este projeto, nós precisamos da sua ajuda!

Maneiras de ajudar >>

Projeto do Japanese American National Museum

Patrocinador principal: The Nippon Foundation