Nicole Sumida

Nicole Sumida is co-founder and former publisher of riksha, a magazine dedicated to promoting artistic and literary works by and about Asian Americans.

Updated in March 2007

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Voices of Chicago

On Being Japanese American...

Growing up in the 1970’s in Chicago’s near west suburbs, there were few people like me. In fact, my sister and I were the only half Japanese, half Swedish/German girls on our block (or in our community for that matter). Most people thought I was Chinese and it didn’t take long to realize that “chink” was not a friendly word. As a kid, I gravitated towards the “others”, the few kids in the neighborhood who were Puerto Rican, Mexican or who just didn’t fit in. Despite being isolated from other Japanese or other Asian Americans, I always identified more with …

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