Tamiko Nimura

Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American writer living in Tacoma, Washington. Her training in literature and American ethnic studies (MA, PhD, University of Washington) prepared her to research, document, and tell the stories of people of color. She has been writing for Discover Nikkei since 2008.

Tamiko just published her first book, Rosa Franklin: A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice (Washington State Legislature Oral History Program, 2020). Her second book is a co-written graphic novel, titled We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (Chin Music Press/Wing Luke Asian Museum). She is working on a memoir called PILGRIMAGE.

Updated November 2020

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Karen Maeda Allman's Life in Punk Rock - Part 2

Read Part 1 >> LIFE IN PUNK Tamiko Nimura (TN): It's so fantastic to hear about this I just remember reading [and] doing a little bit of googling on you and of course you know all your bookselling stuff comes up, but it was like yeah there is this picture of you and your “armor” at the Smithsonian, and I thought, “wait a second.” Can you tell me about this, about your armor, and what it was like to put it on? Karen Maeda Allman (KMA): Well you know, Madonna wore a lot of bracelets and stuff. And she was very influenced by punks in LA fashion-wise, just as…

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Karen Maeda Allman's Life in Punk Rock - Part 1

In the literary world, bookseller Karen Maeda Allman is widely known and respected for the bestselling authors she has brought to the Seattle area, for her advocacy for BIPOC authors, as well as for the literary prizes she has judged. I have known Karen personally for a few years now, and always felt comfortable in her calm and assertive presence. Imagine my delight when I recently found out that Karen had a previous life as the lead singer and lyricist of a Tucson-based hardcore punk rock band in the early 1980s! I had to find out more. Through some research I found that Karen’s band…

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Inspire Forward: Nikkei Heroes Under 30

“A Deep Collective Feeling”: Emily Akpan, Black-Nikkei Activist Hero

Emily Akpan is a Black-Nikkei activist living in Brooklyn, New York. She has been active in many social justice struggles, including Tsuru for Solidarity and New York Day of Remembrance. In March 2022, she was kind enough to take time to answer some questions for Discover Nikkei’s Inspire Forward: Nikkei Heroes Under 30 series. Her story is inspiring and provides insights and help for aspiring activists. * * * * * Tamiko Nimura (TN): Congratulations on being selected as a “Nikkei hero”! How do you feel about being selected? Emily Akpan (EA): Thank you so much! I feel…

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Reframing Japanese American Bitterness: A Partial Chronology

It is February 2022, and the 80th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 has just passed with a groundswell of events commemorating a National Japanese American Day of Remembrance. I am grateful to have participated in a few, and proud of the Japanese American community for all of its efforts to keep camp history alive. I live in the wake of remembrance and resistance and resilience, and I am grateful for all of these. As a Sansei daughter, niece, granddaughter of Japanese American incarcerees, I have been thinking very hard about some lines from my Nisei dad’s unpublished …

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Tracing the Past With The Present: Yonsei Artist Lauren Iida

Yonsei artist Lauren Iida and I first met online years ago when I interviewed her from Cambodia. Since that conversation her arts practice has expanded and deepened, as has her entrepreneurship and mentorship—all of these factors making her career an exciting one to watch. Her beautifully evocative paper cutting artworks include Memory Net, the series 100 Aspects of the Moon, and the series 32 Aspects of Daily Life. Many of them draw on her Japanese American heritage and historical research, and are often inspired by old family photographs.  In recent years Iida’s work …

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