Kimiko Medlock

Kimiko Medlock is a UX researcher currently living in Seattle, WA. She is a taiko player and occasionally a freelance writer focusing on the Japanese American experience during WWII. She holds an MA in modern Japanese history with a focus on pre-war Japanese liberation movements. 

Updated January 2021

media en

JANM’s Media Arts Center Spotlight

“There are so many wonderful stories waiting to be told. Just like the ‘junk’ in your parent’s garage that might really be an artifact that could be at home in JANM’s collection, families don’t always realize how valuable and interesting their own stories are. For MAC, we try to capture and preserve these stories to share with new audiences.”

— Evan Kodani, MAC team member

The Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) has been nominated for an LA-area Emmy Award for its recent feature documentary, Masters of Modern Design, which was a …

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community en

Reading Night in the American Village

Author Akemi Johnson is no stranger to the American military presence in Okinawa and its deep impact on Okinawan culture. In her new book, Night in the American Village: Women in the Shadow of the U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa, the author travels through the prefecture in narrative form, conversing with locals and uncovering the nuances and tragedies that abound around the bases that cover over 14% of Okinawa’s main island. Her book is a rare view into the everyday lives of Okinawans near the bases, and the story unfolds as Johnson herself ventures around Okinawa and tells the personal …

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culture en

No-No Boy Author John Okada, Rediscovered

I Must be Strong
I know now for what war I was born.
Every child is born to see some struggle,
But this conflict is yet the worst.
For my dark features are those of the enemy,
And my heart is buried deep in occidental soil.
People will say things, and people will do things,
I know they will, and I must be strong.

—John Okada, University of Washington Daily, Dec 11, 1941

John Okada, author of the classic Nisei novel No-No Boy (1957) was a mystery to a generation of readers and historians. After studying literature and writing …

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war en

New Memoir Celebrates the Life of Nisei Resister Jimmie Omura

“The most heroic figures in U.S. history, although not always fully appreciated or roundly honored in their lifetime, are those who, like James Matsumoto Omura, were courageous enough to speak and act in an exceedingly moral manner during a time of dire crisis, when it was not popular or even acceptable for them to do so, irrespective of the price that they had to pay.” 

—Art Hansen, editor of Nisei Naysayer

In the long line of historians, journalists, and biographers who have studied the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, there has only recently emerged a trend …

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culture en

Mas Arai’s Last Mystery: Interview with Naomi Hirahara

“I [accepted a] writing fellowship in Kansas to focus on the novel that I had been working on for years. When I returned to LA, I again needed work and began writing biographies for the Japanese American National Museum. And then my novel began to morph into a mystery, which turned out to the perfect container for my story and protagonist, Mas Arai.”

—Naomi Hirahara, author of Hiroshima Boy

Acclaimed author of the Mas Arai mysteries Naomi Hirahara is coming to the Japanese American National Museum on March 17. She will be discussing and reading from her most recent book …

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