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Kristen Nemoto Jay


Kristen Nemoto Jay was the former editor of The Hawai‘i Herald: Hawai‘i’s Japanese American Journal. Her late grandfather, Wilbert Sanderson Holck, was a 442nd RCT veteran and, after the war ended, helped create the sister-city relationship between Bruyeres, France and Honolulu, Hawai‘i. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Chapman University and a master’s degree in journalism from DePaul University. When she's not working full time as a manger of corporate communications for a health insurance company, Nemoto Jay enjoys teaching yoga and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Updated January 2024


Stories from This Author

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I Am a Rainbow! - Part 2

May 15, 2023 • Kristen Nemoto Jay

Read Part 1 >> A particular dance enthusiast who joined in on one of Kanemura’s epic Instagram dance parties was the sister of someone who worked for Little, Brown and Company, a publishing group from Hachette Book Group, a leading trade publisher based in New York. She told her sister to reach out to Kanemura to see about doing a children’s book. Kanemura remembers the day he received the email, which read in the subject line “Children’s Book…” “I immediately …

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I Am a Rainbow! - Part 1

May 14, 2023 • Kristen Nemoto Jay

Darkness sets the stage. Costumes are prepped. Souvenirs are ready to be sold. A sold-out crowd waits anxiously for the stars of the show, Mark Kanemura and his sister Marissa, to appear. Then, as their father helps pull a fishing line to whoosh open the curtains, while a chandelier made out of cardboard boxes lifts above the stage, Kanemura appears in full costume, wearing half a white mask, a sleek black hat and cape, resembling the one and only Phantom …

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80 Years of the 442nd

April 3, 2023 • Kristen Nemoto Jay

Some reading this may already know, but for those who don’t, I’m a proud descendent of a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran. Wilbert “Sandy” Holck was his name; Cannon Company was his unit. Like many who answered the call to volunteer despite the country’s hatred against those of Japanese ancestry, my grandfather—a Hapa haole, Japanese, Hawaiian man from Kaka‘ako—risked his life to fight against injustice and to prove his loyalty to a country that had initially turned its back on …

Thumbnail for American Woman: Radio DJ Becky “Mits” — A Walking contradiction Equipped With a Mic, Quick Mouth, and Comfy Crocs
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American Woman: Radio DJ Becky “Mits” — A Walking contradiction Equipped With a Mic, Quick Mouth, and Comfy Crocs

April 19, 2022 • Kristen Nemoto Jay

It’s the impression that Becky “Mits” Martin makes of her parents’ face that many — whose report cards in high school were not ideal — can relate to. She opens her hands up like a book, pretends to hold a report card that’s filled with letters other than A’s or B’s, and stares stoically down with all the seriousness of a poker player who’s lost a hand that’s yet to be revealed. With perfect comedic timing, still in stealth mode, …

Thumbnail for Promised Land: A Family’s Story About Land Lost (But Saved) During Executive Order 9066 - Part 2
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Promised Land: A Family’s Story About Land Lost (But Saved) During Executive Order 9066 - Part 2

March 16, 2022 • Kristen Nemoto Jay

Read Part 1 >> Saved Land When the Yoshioka family left their farm in San Jose for Utah then Colorado, they could only take what they could carry. “We didn’t have much,” said Thomas. The rest of their belongings, which included their expensive farm equipment, had to stay back at the farm. Thankfully, the Yoshioka’s had leased their land from a very generous owner named Frederick De Meza. “Mr. De Meza,” as he’s affectionately called by the Yoshioka’s, agreed to …

Thumbnail for Promised Land: A Family’s Story About Land Lost (But Saved) During Executive Order 9066 - Part 1
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Promised Land: A Family’s Story About Land Lost (But Saved) During Executive Order 9066 - Part 1

March 15, 2022 • Kristen Nemoto Jay

On Feb. 19, 2022, Thomas Yoshioka will be 101 years young. There’s not much to his secret, he says. He simply states that his parents lived long—one of them into their mid 90s—and that he uses a pedal cycle almost every day to keep fit. Other than that, he shrugs at the initial look of surprise that most people give him and his son Jim Yoshioka—Thomas’s caretaker —who’s usually always by his side. “We’re probably going to do a Zoom …

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