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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/authors/hamaker-susan/

Susan Miyagi McCormac

@smhamaker

Okinawan American Susan Miyagi McCormac is a New York-based writer who started the website JapanCulture•NYC in May 2011 as a resource for all things Japanese in New York City. She also blogs about her Okinawan heritage and her fascination with Japanese culture at shrinecastle.com.

Updated March 2012


Stories from This Author

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Have Your Bento Your Way with Bento On Demand

Sept. 8, 2015 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

“Have it your way” was a slogan that fast-food chain Burger King used for forty years to encourage customers to create the burger they want rather than adhering to a strict menu. This is a concept that is generally not embraced in Japanese cuisine. Do you ever purchase pre-packaged bento from a Japanese grocery store in New York City? Did you ever think, “Wow, I really like this, but I wish I could have hijiki instead of gobo kinpira”? Do …

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Nikkei Chronicles #2—Nikkei+: Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race
Documentary Explores Being “Hafu” in Japan

Aug. 6, 2013 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

Daddy: Check the box that says “Caucasian.”Me:      Really? I didn’t know because I’m not completely Caucasian.           What about mom?Daddy: The child’s race is determined by the father’s side. That conversation between my father and me took place when I was around eight or nine years old. It was the first time I filled out official school paperwork on my own. It was also the first time I gave any thought to my race—both of …

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Enka Singer Jero Delights Diverse Japan Society Audience

June 19, 2012 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

A diverse crowed filled Japan Society’s auditorium Saturday night. They were young, middle-aged, and not so young. They were Japanese, half Japanese, part Japanese, and non-Japanese. They were wearing jeans, dresses, and kimono. And they were all there for the New York debut of Jero, a Pittsburgh native who has achieved success in Japan in the unlikeliest of professions: He’s an enka singer. Enka, a Japanese ballad that became popular during the postwar era, generally has a fan base that …

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Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami
Japanese Pop Singer AK is Saving Japan with Your Love

March 9, 2012 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

Akemi Kakihara is a Japanese pop star who has released 14 albums with EMI Music Japan, one of Japan’s major record labels. Her latest album, Say That You Love Me, came out in August 2010, and her two most recent US singles appear on compilation albums. But she’d rather talk about the children. The children are preschoolers in Miyagi and Fukushima, where AK (as she prefers to be called) visited six months after a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami in …

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Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami
Fukushima City: Six Months Later - Part 2

Dec. 5, 2011 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

Read Part 1 >>Professor Takahashi is an intelligent man whose face shows no signs of stress despite the hardships that have befallen his country. When discussing the nuclear crisis and radiation levels in Fukushima Prefecture, he speaks matter-of-factly and explains the science in layman’s terms. Armed with Fukushima University’s state-of-the-art sievert meter and a scientific background, he admits he has a base knowledge of radiation, which helps him understand the nuclear situation better than the average citizen. Although he feels …

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Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami
Fukushima City: Six Months Later - Part 1

Nov. 28, 2011 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

In September I had the opportunity to visit Fukushima City, Japan, as a guest of Takayuki Takahashi, Vice President of Fukushima University. I first met Professor Takahashi in June, when he and his team of researchers attended a medical trade show in New York City. Almost as much as he wanted to promote the school’s medical invention, he wanted to promote the resilience of Fukushima residents after the horrific earthquake and tsunami of March 11 set off a nuclear crisis. …

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Junko Fisher brings traditional Okinawan dance to New York

Nov. 17, 2010 • Susan Miyagi McCormac

By day Yoshitake Kamiya worked in the fields of Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture. By night he performed traditional Okinawan dances and acted in plays with Taishin Za, a famous local theater group. For twenty years, between 1968 and 1988, he also traveled the world as an official member of Kumi Odori (Okinawan-style opera with elements of singing, dancing, and acting), introducing Okinawan culture to North Africa, the former Soviet Union, Europe, and even New York. Kamiya also introduced the art …

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