Darryl Mori

Darryl Mori is a writer based in Los Angeles, specializing in the arts and the nonprofit sector. A Sansei and a native of Southern California, he has written for UCLA and the Japanese American National Museum, where he serves as a volunteer. He currently works in fundraising and external relations for Art Center College of Design.

Updated December 2012

war en

From Beets to the Battlefield: How WWII Farm Laborers Helped the War Effort

Museum volunteer and docent James Tanaka thought something was missing from an exhibition and it bothered him. The Japanese American National Museum’s long-running exhibition, Common Ground: The Heart of Community, seen by more than one million visitors, chronicles the history of Americans of Japanese ancestry from the 1800s to the present. In one of its text panels, the exhibition mentioned that some Japanese Americans who had been unjustly incarcerated in concentration camps during World War II were temporarily released. The reason for the release was that laborers were urgently ne…

Read more

sports en

Driving Diversity: Kyle Larson, First Japanese American to Win at NASCAR

In August 2016, Kyle Miyata Larson made sports history by becoming the first Japanese American driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series—NASCAR’s top level of racing. Larson began racing at the age of seven. Today the 24-year-old is already an accomplished professional in racing, having previously won multiple other NASCAR titles. His recent Sprint Cup win was seen as a victory not only for him as an individual driver but also for diversity in the sport. Larson’s mother is Japanese American, and her parents were unjustly incarcerated during World War II in ethnic concentra…

Read more

war en

Q&A with Morgen Young, Curator of Uprooted Exhibition on WWII Nikkei Farm Laborers

During World War II, sugar was in urgent demand. Beyond its use in food products, sugar beets were converted to industrial alcohol and used in the manufacturing of munitions and synthetic rubber. Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II is a traveling exhibition produced the by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission. Featuring historical images by noted federal photographer Russell Lee integrated with video content, the exhibition examines how Japanese American laborers became an essential part of the wartime sugar industry. Discover Nikkei had the chance to engage …

Read more

war en ja

Paper and Peace: Seeing Hiroshima's Origami Cranes Through Japanese American Eyes

“I always like to tell my friends that every little thing in Japanese culture has some symbolism and meaning,” Richard Watanabe says. The 15-year volunteer at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles recently returned from a trip to Hiroshima, Japan. The site of the fateful atomic bombing during World War II has become known internationally for its origami cranes symbolizing peace. Watanabe, who by day is a Professor of Preventive Medicine and Physiology & Biophysics at the Keck USC School of Medicine, had been in Japan for a human genetics conference, a…

Read more

culture en

Q&A with Heidi Kim, editor of Taken from the Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story

Heidi Kim is a writer, literary scholar, and editor of the new book, Taken from the Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story. Taken from the Paradise Isle explores what a Japanese American family experienced during their separation and unjust incarceration during World War II. The book reveals its subject through intimate excerpts from George Hoshida’s diary and memoir, as well as correspondence with his wife, Tamae. Hoshida’s diary includes watercolors and sketches, adding an evocative visual element to the personal accounts. Discover Nikkei had the opportunity to engage Kim f…

Read more

Series this author contributes to