Eri Kameyama

Eri Kameyama recently graduated from the Asian American Studies Master’s Program at UCLA where she completed her thesis titled “Acts of Being and Belonging: Negotiating Shin-Issei Transnational Identities.” She currently works for JACL- Pacific Southwest District as their Program Associate.

Updated September 2012

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Nikkei Chronicles #1—ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Temaki Zushi: A Welcome-Home Party

Food is such an essential part of life, not just because it provides us with the nutrients and calories needed to survive, but because often times, eating is an act of socializing. My mother always said, “To be able to enjoy food is such a blessing. The day when I can’t taste anymore will be a very sad day.” When I heard that my grandmother in Japan does not cook anymore because she cannot get any of the flavorings right and thus lost her joy for cooking for her husband, my mother’s words flooded through me. This Discover Nikkei entry …

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Expatriated Identity

I once read an article on “Accidental Americans.” I believe there are many ways to become an “Accidental American.” For Vietnamese Americans, perhaps their parents fled after the Fall of Saigon. Or for some undocumented immigrants, perhaps America is the only country they ever knew because their parents immigrated when they were too young to remember. Neither of these Americans chose their own destiny to become a part of United States. I have my own story of how I became an “Accidental American.”

I am a part of a new wave of Japanese immigrants. Japanese born and American raised. I …

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Restaurant Row, Mitsuwa Marketplace: The Production and Consumption of Japan outside of Japan - Part 2

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The Atmosphere: People, Spatiality, and Food

There are several entrances to this particular Mitsuwa Marketplace. The biggest entrance, however, is on the north end and shoppers who enter there are forced to walk through Restaurant Row to get into the grocery store. Although the appearance and décor of Restaurant Row varies by location, the one in Torrance is exceptionally different. All of the independent restaurants, with their individual traditional Japanese-styled roofs, give off the feeling of walking down an alleyway in the middle of some historical Japanese town such as Kyoto. The seating is also interesting …

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Restaurant Row, Mitsuwa Marketplace: The Production and Consumption of Japan outside of Japan - Part 1

The trick is to first empty one packet of “gu” into a small bowl, then pour in hot water (around 160ml). Then, add the miso packet and stir well.1

These are the directions from my instant miso-soup packets—a modern invention of freeze dried wakame, tofu, onion and non-perishable miso purchased from Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, California that gives my taste buds a small journey to my homeland, Japan. Mitsuwa is an amazing place. In entering the Japanese supermarket, I am surrounded by Nihon. The familiar smells of fresh sashimi and vegetables, the sight of kanji, the sounds of J-pop, …

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