Miya Iwataki

Miya Iwataki’s life experiences as a poet, writer, host/producer of East Wind Radio series; designer of diversity and cultural competency programs for LA County; NCRR fighter for Japanese American reparations; one of 30 women sponsored by United Nations NGO to UN Decade for Women Convention in Nairobi, Kenya; and co-author of first study on cultural barriers to reproductive health care in 8 API communities have shaped a lifelong understanding, awareness, and commitment to justice and equity. It has breathed life into the importance of valuing cultural beliefs, practices and traditions in health, and in our daily lives; and an appreciation for how deeply language is tied into, and reflects our culture.

Updated April 2017

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

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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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Hailing

This month, we are honored to again feature the fierce Miya Iwataki, a veteran activist, core member of NCRR (Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress), and writer based in Los Angeles. She presents four poems here—an observation of and hailing to the world around her, from the intimate to the masses. Miya will be featured in our 2nd annual Nikkei Uncovered virtual poetry reading on May 13 (RSVP required), where we will feature “pairs” of writers. She will be paired with poet Amy Uyematsu, who leads a weekly writing class where Miya is a participating poet. We look forward …

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Little Tokyo - Coming Full Circle: Tsutomu Maehara and his family, Jo Ann and Chef Akira Hirose, embody the Little Tokyo spirit

Community control over land in Little Tokyo is one of the few strategies that will help prevent displacement of legacy small businesses. The Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund (LTCIF) will protect our neighborhood from losing its cultural heritage and will help achieve community control.

— Takao Suzuki, LTCIF member

In 1886 Charles Kame, an ex-seaman from Japan opened a Japanese restaurant at 340 E. First St., planting the roots of Little Tokyo. The community grew slowly but steadily as more Issei immigrated to California, including a large influx in the early 1900s, as thousands left San Francisco to escape heightened …

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Resistance

Welcome back to this month’s edition of Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column. As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the signing of E.O. 9066 and the 50th anniversary of the official Manzanar Pilgrimage, we look to the virtues of and stories behind resistance with pieces from Los Angeles Sansei writer and activist, Miya Iwataki, and Yonsei JA/second generation Okinawan American educator and writer, Ryan Masaaki Yokota (based in Chicago)—from a song stoked by struggle in Heart Mountain to the reasons we marched then and now and again and again…enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Miya Iwataki’s life experiences …

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