Norio Umezu Hall

Norio Umezu Hall (he/him) is a transmasculine Yonsei parent, with a father who immigrated from Japan. He loves finding new hobbies and spending time learning about the stars (both in Hollywood and the sky). When not relaxing, he is trying to make the world a better place for and with people who’ve experienced racial and gender-based violence.

Updated October 2021

identity en ja es pt

Seeing New Years with New Eyes

If Japanese Americans have a Norman Rockwell holiday, oshogatsu is it. Instead of someone serving turkey to a long table of guests, the Nikkei version would likely feature people passing osechi ryori boxes and cups of sake. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, stuff our faces with food, drink, relax, and play games. It’s a holiday that evokes warmth, joy, and home. But is a Norman Rockwell holiday something to want to emulate? After the 2020 uprisings demanding racial justice for Black Americans and the ongoing marches raising awareness about the thousands of missing a…

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culture en

Nikkei Chronicles #10—Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities

Passing on the Joy of Being Nikkei

I love obon. Standing under strings of chochin, their warm light dotting indigo summer skies like fireflies always feels like coming home. They transform a liminal space — a street or a parking lot — into a destination. Hot dogs and hamburgers coexist with ikebana and enka without question. For just a few hours, all of me makes sense. Of all the Nikkei traditions I grew up with, this was the one I most wanted to share with my child. The 2020 pandemic had other plans. Covid precautions quickly made clear that my child’s first obon would …

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