Kyra Karatsu

Kyra Karatsu was born and raised in Santa Clarita, CA. She is currently a first-year Journalism student at College of the Canyons in Valencia, CA and hopes to transfer to a university after the completion of her AA degree. Kyra is a Japanese-German Yonsei and enjoys reading and writing about the Asian American experience.

Updated January 2021

food en

Nikkei Chronicles #11—Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community

Food for Thought—TikTok & Tamagoyaki

Like any good Gen Z-er, I’ve made my fair share of TikToks since I first downloaded the app two years ago. Most are silly and trivial and recorded primarily for my “impressive” following of 45 followers—the majority being school friends.  Although it pales in comparison to the millions and even billions of views that top users (often dubbed “Content Creators”) regularly receive, the most popular TikTok that I ever made was, interestingly enough, a minute-long video of my dad and me making tamagoyaki. By the time I eventually privated it, th…

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community en

The Times of Tulelake

Located near the Oregon-California border, the ghost of what once was one of California’s two internment camps now stands rather quietly against a backdrop of mountains and shrubs. But for much of the 20th century, Tulelake and the nearby town of Newell – where the Tule Lake Segregation Center stands – were no strangers to the bustle of human activity. A Japanese American relocation camp turned high-security segregation center turned homestead farming community, the Tulelake area has since evolved into a historically significant landscape for a varied miscellany of America…

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media en

From Short Story to Stage Play: Masao and The Bronze Nightingale

After years of partnership and production, Dan Kwong and Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara’s Masao and The Bronze Nightingale has finally set stage at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. Based on Guevara’s short story of the same name, Masao and The Bronze Nightingale is set in post-war 1940s Bronzeville—a thriving African American community that sprouted in Little Tokyo after Japanese Americans were forcibly removed. As Japanese American jazz musician Masao Imoto (played by Michael Sasaki) navigates through the vibrant, multicultural L.A music scene and his love for the…

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identity en

To Build a Bridge

“Why do you want to marry him?”  That is what my maternal grandfather asked my mother in the days leading up to her wedding.  It was genuine, blunt, honest. Even today, it was a question that my mother recalls as one that stunned her into momentary silence. After a pause and some thoughtful reflection, she was finally able to answer his query. The matter was then put to rest, never to be spoken between the two again. Her father’s curiosity had been satiated. This was the year 2001, and the occasion was the betrothal of a Caucasian woman and an Asian man. At the…

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community en ja

Inspire Forward: Nikkei Heroes Under 30

Cole Kawana: JANM and the Power of Artificial Intelligence

“A snapshot of human memory.”  That’s what 23-year-old Cole Kawana likes to call one of the Japanese American National Museum’s newest exhibits, The Interactive StoryFile of Lawson Iichiro Sakai. Kawana, a recent graduate from the University of Southern California and a 5th generation Japanese American, envisioned the technology-based project in 2019. As the founder and president of Japanese American Stories—a nonprofit that develops artificial intelligence avatars to help preserve and share the oral histories of Japanese Americans who lived through Worl…

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