Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column is a space for the Nikkei community to share stories through diverse writings on culture, history, and personal experience. The column will feature a wide variety of poetic form and subject matter with themes that include history, roots, identity; history—past into the present; food as ritual, celebration, and legacy; ritual and assumptions of tradition; place, location, and community; and love.

We’ve invited author, performer, and poet traci kato-kiriyama to curate this monthly poetry column, where we will publish one to two poets on the third Thursday of each month—from senior or young writers new to poetry, to published authors from around the country. We hope to uncover a web of voices linked through myriad differences and connected experience.

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Canciones

Este mes, nos complace presentar dos poemas en español de la poetisa peruana Doris Moromisato Miasato. Ella es ecologista, feminista y budista y estos dos poemas son hermosas canciones de homenaje, uno para su padre y otro para el famoso artista japonés Hokusai. De los recuerdos evocados a aquellos imaginados, su poesía se lee como una canción de lamento, inspiración y maravilla. Agradezco llevar conmigo estos poemas mientras comenzamos a dejar el verano por el otoño. También debo agradecer a Norma, la madre de mi pareja, que tiene como lengua materna el español y también es de Perú. Ella es …

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Owed to Amy

To borrow from the title of one of this month’s features, the theme for this month is all about paying homage to one of our most beloved writers, Amy Uyematsu. Amy has been writing and teaching for decades and is going through the fight of her life right now—and what is a community-based poetry column if not a platform to support the best energies and wishes possible for the better health of one of our own poets?

You will see Amy’s poems throughout the lifespan of this column and much more importantly, through her incredible collection of work featured in …

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Epicanthus

As we wish you all a wonderful dive into the heat of summer, I am excited to help celebrate the upcoming release of the Epicanthus poetry chapbook by Bloomington, Indiana-based Hiromi Yoshida. While the book’s title harkens toward a condition of obscured views, Hiromi's writing beautifully cuts right through the serpentine surroundings of her experience and that of the world beyond. The selections provided here give a sneak peek into the book’s movement and language and more importantly, Hiromi’s poetic, discerning eye on the material all around us. Enjoy!

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Hiromi Yoshida, one of Bloomington’s finest and …

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Retracing / Return

This month, we feature the lovely words of LA-based poets, Noriko Nakada and Garrett Kurai.  I've returned to a practice of penning letters, cards, personal messages to be sent by post or out into the ether for recipients I may never actually meet, and when I read through the words of these writers, I thought a lot of the cycle of remembrance and homage...how when we return, in writing, to our memories, we have a new conversation with the past...how there is much to be said in the process of retracing our narrative paths.  Thank you Noriko...Thank you, Garrett, for taking …

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Dancing in the Clouds

This month, we have the honor of publishing works by two poets who lent their voices to our second annual reading last week for “Nikkei Uncovered”Shō Tanaka and Paulette M. Moreno. They both took great care in what and how they delivered their words together as a pairing that we featured alongside Amy Uyematsu & Miya Iwataki, and Mariko Fujimoto Rooks & Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks. I was struck not only by the beauty of their storytelling, but the vessels they are to their layered and intersectional history, calling on us to further contemplate the complexities, pain, and …

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Amy Uyematsu dekasegi Doris Moromisato Epicanthus family Family Garrett Kurai Hiromi Yoshida Kathy Masaoka Keiko Miya Miya Iwataki Nikkei Uncovered Nina Chan Noriko Nakada Okinawa okinawan Paulette M. Moreno Peru poems poet poetry poets Poston shimanchu Sho Tanaka