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Documenting Manzanar - Part 5 of 18

Nancy Matsumoto

Read Part 4 >>History Recast as Art: Documentary and Fictional Accounts of Exile and BanishmentThose views were shaped in turn by artistic, literary, documentary and nonfiction accounts of the Japanese American war experience. Born Free and Equal was forgotten amid the post-war building boom as a curtain of silence descended …

Documenting Manzanar - Part 4 of 18

Nancy Matsumoto

Read Part 3 >>The Photographic Documentation of ManzanarAs Fujikawa, Alinder and Hosoe all noted, photographs of the World War II prison camps can be just as misleading as the rosy accounts of those who were imprisoned. So much so that the writer and lawyer Gerald H. Robinson titled his examination …

Documenting Manzanar - Part 3 of 18

Nancy Matsumoto

Read Part 2 >>Why Are They Smiling?My initial confusion about and inability to understand the Issei and Nisei attitude toward their imprisonment contributed to my fascination with the documentary photographs of Manzanar: If the Nisei and Issei would not talk about what really happened, wouldn’t photographs of the camp reveal …

Documenting Manzanar - Part 2 of 18

Nancy Matsumoto

Read Part 1 >>The Silence of the NiseiAfter the war, the newly freed Japanese busied themselves with building new lives, often far from the inhospitable West Coast of the U.S., where anti-Japanese sentiment lingered.

Documenting Manzanar - Part 1 of 18

Nancy Matsumoto

I first learned that Ansel Adams had published a book of photos of the World War II Japanese prison camp Manzanar from my Uncle George, our family’s unofficial historian. I had sent him a Wilderness Society booklet on the great nature photographer, and in his e-mail response my uncle wrote, …

West Coast Nikkei Eldercare: Planning for New and More Diverse Systems of Care

Part III-2: Multicultural centers in Sacramento and Los Angeles

Nancy Matsumoto

>> Part III-1Although it does not specialize in Nikkei senior housing or offer a nutrition program, Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) is worth examining in the context of embracing an increasingly multi-cultural viewpoint and offering services that match. LTSC Executive Director Bill Watanabe explains that the 30-year-old non-profit began …

West Coast Nikkei Eldercare: Planning for New and More Diverse Systems of Care

Part III-1: Multicultural centers in Sacramento and Los Angeles

Nancy Matsumoto

West Coast Nikkei eldercare organizations are preparing for a time in the not-too-distant future when Nikkei alone will no longer fill their programs and beds. This was the universal message I heard from the seven organizations I surveyed. Yet at the same time, I sensed a desire to hold on …

When samurai walked the streets of New York

Nancy Matsumoto

There is a curious gem of an exhibition on now at the Museum of the City of New York, Samurai in New York. The show tells the story of the first official delegation of Japanese to visit the country in 1860, not long after Commodore Matthew Perry forced the ports …

Friends With Differences: Lange and Adams at the Oakland Museum of California

Nancy Matsumoto

When you are researching a topic, somehow relevant stories seem to appear all around you. So it was with this Wall Street Journal story today, on two photography sections in the newly renovated Oakland Museum of California. One is on the work of photographer Dorothea Lange, and one on Group …

West Coast Nikkei Eldercare: Planning for New and More Diverse Systems of Care

Part II-2: Nikkei Eldercare in San Francisco and San Jose

Nancy Matsumoto

>> Part II-1For those in need of a more intensive level of care than what Kimochi provides, Bay Area seniors can go to Kokoro, a nearby non-profit assisted-living complex that opened in 2003. The facility grew out of a 13-year-long effort by a consortium of church groups, and is headed …

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I am a Toronto and New York City-based freelance writer who covers food, agriculture and the environment for publications including The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Civil Eats. Nancy is the co-author of The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders: Supporting Self-Esteem, Healthy Eating & Positive Body Image at Home. She is a 2018 Stone Barns Exchange Fellow and a certified advanced sake professional.Web site:; blog:

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