Makiko Nakasone

Makiko Nakasone is an Issei journalist from Yamanashi, Japan.  She was a staff writer of Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei)/Nikkei America, the world largest financial newspaper. Her articles have appeared in Asahi Shimbun, Japan Times, Sydney Morning Herald, and others.  She lives with her Sansei husband, Steve, and two sons in La Canada.  She is also the charter president of the Rotary Club of Little Tokyo. 

Updated March 2019

community en ja

Grassroots “9066 Meetings”

On a past Thursday afternoon, about 20 people from all walks of life gathered for an early dinner at the lovely home of Akimi Ching in Pasadena, CA. Ching (76) is a Sansei retired physician from Santa Barbara married to a Chinese American husband of 52 years, Clifford. She has been feeling a sense of urgency to hold such a meeting, particularly for young people who do not know much about what had happened to the Japanese Americans during WWII. She called it the “9066 Meeting.”

Ching has never been an activist for Japanese Americans’ rights and justice. After all …

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community en ja

Just Being There Represents “Nikkei”: Wade Nomura of Carpinteria, CA

While there are many Nikkei who belong to Nikkei organizations in Little Tokyo to promote the rights and status of Nikkei, there are many others who are rooted in the “American” community and represent “Nikkei” by just being there. In fact, the latter is probably the overwhelming majority. Wade Nomura (65) of Carpinteria is one of them, a powerful one.

Nomura is the new Mayor of Carpinteria, which sits just south of Santa Barbara, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. He is the first Nikkei Mayor of Carpinteria in 35 years. Nomura has been the president of the Santa …

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business en ja

King of “Ikejime”—Seiichi Yokota

“To spread ‘Ikejime’ not only in the States, but throughout the world is my big dream,” says Shin-Issei Seiichi Yokota. The 43-year-old from Toyama prefecture is proud to promote this ancient Japanese technique to keep the fish fresh much longer than the conventional method used in the States. He has decided Los Angeles, California is his adopted “Furusato,” new home.

Yokota’s clients are all high-end restaurants in and around L.A., including Spago in Beverly Hills, “Asanebo” in Sawtelle Japantown, and Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica. Every Wednesday morning, he drives to LAX to receive the shipment of Ikejime yellow …

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culture en ja

Dawn I Frazier’s Hidden Place to Relax her Soul: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena

Every Thursday morning, Dawn Ishimaru Frazier (82) looks forward to driving down the street of Pasadena to Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden. Within five minutes, she is in the world of tranquility and relaxation. “I like the quiet time the garden provides for my soul to relax,” she says.

The “Nisei-han” Japanese American widow found this “hidden gem” several years ago, when she came to the garden with her Fujinkai for the first time. The beauty and serenity impressed her, and she immediately signed up to volunteer. “I like being in the dirt,” Frazier explains. Her first assignment at the garden …

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