Vicky K. Murakami-Tsuda

Vicky K. Murakami-Tsuda is the Communications Production Manager at the Japanese American National Museum. She loves working on the Discover Nikkei project, because it gives her the opportunity to learn so many new and interesting stories, and connect with people around the world who share similar interests. She is a “self-proclaimed” yonsei from Southern California who comes from a large extended family. A long time ago (when she had more free time and energy), she was also an artist who explored Japanese American culture and history through her artwork.

During this time of Safer at Home, she spends most of her time working from home, reading, playing games on her phone, binge-watching movies and shows, snacking all day long, connecting weekly with her family via Zoom, enjoying not having to drive in traffic, and dreaming of when she can get back to her normal life of eating out, bowling, Dodger games, and having fun with family and friends in person.

Updated May 2020

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A Yonsei's Reflections...

on What the Universe is Telling Me

“Seek out the significance of your problem at this time. Try to understand.” —fortune from a recent cookie 

The universe is trying to tell me something. Lately, I’ve been getting these “signs” that are telling me that I need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. After a crazy and hectic summer, chock full of things both in my professional and personal life, I’ve been noticing these little clues with more frequency. They offer a path away from feelings of being overwhelmed. A lifeline sent to me through a fortune cookie.

At work, there have …

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A Yonsei's Reflections...

on Where the Trees Take Me

I'm a city girl...actually, more of a suburbanite. I need certain comforts around me—clean toilets, a shower, comfortable and warm place to sleep, etc. My pale skin proves that I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. Yet, this year seems to be drawing me out of my normal habits, enticing me with new opportunities to get out in the sun.

In March, I joined my fellow Discover Nikkei co-workers for a hanami to see the sakura (Japanese cherry blossom) trees in bloom at Lake Balboa in Van Nuys, CA. Sakura trees usually blossom around April, but here in sunny …

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A Yonsei's Reflections...

on How I Was Transported by Redress

My first car was a Toyota Tercel—frosted mint (a pale whitish-green color), two doors, and fairly bare-boned. It didn’t have power windows or doors, but it was all mine. Practical and functional, I had it for ten years before I traded it in for a Toyota Matrix. I rarely had any problems with it...dependable, it took me where I needed to go.

My parents purchased it for me using part of my father’s reparations money*. The reason why they purchased it was primarily practical—so my parents didn’t have to drop me off and pick me up from school. Without the …

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A Yonsei's Reflections...

on Connections

2007 was a year of change, revelations, and connections. I began the year writing the first in this column series about new beginnings and opportunities. My husband and I settled into our new home, we vacationed in New England for the first time (and ate a LOT of lobster!), and I started a family website to keep in touch with relatives throughout the year. At work, I was involved in many exciting projects that reinforced for me why after over twelve years, I still find fulfillment and exhilaration in working for a non-profit.

That’s not to say that all of …

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Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Oshogatsu Traditions in the United States

In the Western world, New Year’s Eve is a big day for parties to celebrate the end of a year and the fresh start of a new one. In Japan, the beginning of the New Year, or Oshogatsu, is when friends and family gather together for what is considered to be the most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated throughout the country and by Nikkei around the world with symbolic food, decorations, activities, and other traditions to wish for an auspicious year. In the United States, it is also a holiday whose celebration has melded Japanese and Americans …

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