Tamiko Nimura

Tamiko Nimura é uma escritora sansei/pinay [filipina-americana]. Originalmente do norte da Califórnia, ela atualmente reside na costa noroeste dos Estados Unidos. Seus artigos já foram ou serão publicados no San Francisco ChronicleKartika ReviewThe Seattle Star, Seattlest.com, International Examiner  (Seattle) e no Rafu Shimpo. Além disso, ela escreve para o seu blog Kikugirl.net, e está trabalhando em um projeto literário sobre um manuscrito não publicado de seu pai, o qual descreve seu encarceramento no campo de internamento de Tule Lake [na Califórnia] durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Atualizado em junho de 2012

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A Tribute to My Oldest Nisei Auntie

If you knew my Auntie Nesan, you knew her laugh. 

My cousins and I called her “Nesan” (older sister) because of family tradition; as the oldest of six siblings, all of our parents called her “Nesan,” so we did too. Her real name was Hisa. Since my name ends with “ko,” or “child” in Japanese, I asked her once if her name was actually “Hisako” when she was younger. She shook her head, emphatically. “No,” she said. “I don’t like that name. It’s not mine. Just Hisa.” She was the oldest of six siblings, the second of my grandparents’ children …

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At 85, Tacoma Sumi Artist Fumiko Kimura Continues To Explore Artmaking Process

How would you prepare for a showing of your own artwork—one that spans a career of more than six decades?

“Do come to my place,” offers Fumiko Kimura over e-mail, cheerfully. “Just to let you know, my place now looks like I could be evicted.” The Nisei artist, now 85 years old, is currently storing most of her paintings at her home in order to select and mount them for a retrospective show at Tacoma Community College in November.

“Fumiko has been participating in exhibitions at the [TCC] Gallery for over 10 years,” notes Jennifer Olson-Rudenko, director of the Gallery. …

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Uncovering Tacoma's Nikkei Past: The Japanese Language School Memorial

The taiko players are warming up, their arms circling up in the air and back towards the drums. I’m standing on a gravel path, near a Japanese maple tree. There are metal lines running along the ground, which seems strange until I remember that I’m standing at the Prairie Line Trail, a converted railroad track that the University is transforming into a public park, similar to the High Line Park in New York City.

I’m happy to see a familiar face in the slowly gathering crowd. It’s Aya Hashiguchi Clark, a Japanese American actress and playwright who I recognize from …

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It’s Not Just About History: Visiting the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

It’s hard to describe the shock of recognition when sepia history meets full-color present, when they can align so precisely. That’s one of the many gifts that the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial gives to its visitors.

We’re standing under a large vertically hung banner, a sepia photographic replica of people walking down a ferry dock. It’s a picture we know well, as a famous historic photo of the first wartime forced removal of Japanese Americans. Our tour guide, Lilly, is giving us a tour of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. We look up at the photo, and Lilly …

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The Circles of Bon Odori

Although I am not Buddhist, the circles of Bon Odori have always spoken to me. All the circles of dancers, all of their arms even raised in circles, mimicking the full moon. The round uchiwa fans, the strings of rounded lanterns bobbing slightly in the breeze, the circular heads of the taiko drums. Food, dancing, community, summer heat, celebration, reunion with the spirits of the ancestors—really, what more could you ask from a festival?

Obon is well-known in the Japanese American community as “a gathering of joy,” for good reasons. But it will always feel simultaneously painful, because my sister …

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