Submit your stories, essays, and vignettes for Growing Up Nikkei! Submissions deadline: October 31, 2023.
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Growing Up Nikkei: Connecting with Our Heritage

Nikkei Chronicles #12
Growing Up Nikkei: Connecting with Our Heritage

Our theme for the 12th edition of Nikkei Chronicles is Growing Up Nikkei: Connecting with Our Heritage.

We invite you to submit your stories, essays, and vignettes about the ways in which you have connected with your Nikkei heritage. What kind of Nikkei community events did you attend? What kinds of childhood stories do you have about Nikkei food? How did you learn Japanese as a child? We look forward to hearing stories from all generations about their own, their family, or community experiences.

All submissions that meet the guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of this series and will be eligible for selection as the Nima-kai community favorite. Four additional stories (one each in English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese) will be selected by the editorial committee. Selected articles will be featured and translated into Discover Nikkei’s other site languages.

We are accepting submissions until Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 6 p.m. PDT.


All stories submitted that meet the project guidelines will be eligible for selection as the Nima-kai community favorite. Four additional stories (one each in English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese) will be selected by the editorial committee. Selected articles will be featured and translated into Discover Nikkei’s other site languages.

Submission Guidelines

In order to include your story in the project, please review the following instructions:


All submissions must be related to Nikkei experiences, history, and/or culture. Articles must meet the following length, format, and languages criteria:

  • Accepted writing formats: Personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genres. For this particular project, we are not accepting poetry or video submissions.

  • Accepted languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese

  • Length: 
    - English, Spanish, and Portuguese articles should be about 600–1,500 words.
    - Japanese articles should be about 1,000–3,000 characters.

  • Foreign words should be italicized.
    For example: My tio Frank made a bento for lunch.

  • All articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents or Google Doc. We will NOT accept PDF or printed copies.

  • Previously published works are ok with copyright permission cleared by the author, but your submission cannot be previously published on Discover Nikkei. All copyrights for the piece will remain with the copyright owner, but upon submission, permission is granted to Discover Nikkei to publish the work on our website and with any other publication (electronic or print) in collaboration with the project.

Note: If you have other types of Nikkei-related stories that don’t fit within the project theme, you can still submit them! Check out our regular Discover Nikkei Journal submission guidelines.



For this series, applicants MUST submit at least 1 photo to illustrate your story.

  • Accepted file types: .jpg, .png, or .gif files

  • Preferred file size: 150 dpi, at least 1200 pixels wide by 600 pixels high preferred.
    *If you do not have the capability to resize the image, send us the large file and we will do it.

  • Only submit images for which you either own copyrights or have secured permission to use for this purpose.

  • Provide a caption and/or photo credit for each image if necessary.

  • Send each image file separately. You may include images within the text file for reference and placement, but image files will additionally need to be sent as separate, individual files.


  • Submit a short bio of approximately 50–100 words (100–200 characters in Japanese) written in the same language of the article that you are submitting. If you are submitting your article in multiple languages, please send corresponding language bios for each.

  • Send a portrait of the author as a .jpg, .png, or .gif file at 150 dpi, at least 500 x 500 pixels.
    *The photo will be cropped to a square image. If you do not have the capability to resize or crop the image, send us the file and we will crop the image for you.

  • Articles written by multiple authors are accepted. In this case, please submit a bio and portrait separately for each author.

Deadline for Submissions

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31, 2023, 6 p.m. (PDT). Stories will be published on Discover Nikkei on a rolling basis, so don’t wait until the end to submit!

Multiple submissions are accepted; however we only accept email submissions.


Disclaimer: By submitting your story, you are granting Discover Nikkei and the Japanese American National Museum permission to post your article and images on, and potentially other publications in print or online affiliated with this project. This includes any translations of your work in association with Discover Nikkei. You, the writer, will retain copyright. Check Discover Nikkei’s Terms of Services and Privacy Policy for more details.

Editorial Committee

We're deeply grateful for the participation of our Editorial Committee:

    Alden M. Hayashi is a Sansei who was born and raised in Honolulu but now lives in Boston. After writing about science, technology, and business for more than thirty years, he has recently begun writing fiction to preserve stories of the Nikkei experience. His first novel, Two Nails, One Love, was published by Black Rose Writing in 2021. His website:

    Emily Anderson is Project Curator at the Japanese American National Museum and a specialist on modern Japan. Having received her PhD in modern Japanese history from UCLA in 2010, she was assistant professor of Japanese history at Washington State University (Pullman, Washington) from 2010-2014, and postdoctoral fellow at University of Auckland in 2014. She is the author of Christianity in Modern Japan: Empire for God (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the editor of Belief and Practice in Imperial Japan and Colonial Korea (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) as well as a number of articles and book chapters on religion and imperialism in Japan and the Pacific. She also has extensive experience developing museum exhibitions, including co-curating Boyle Heights: Power of Place (JANM, 2002-2003), Cannibals: Myth and Reality (San Diego Museum of Man, 2015-ongoing), and Sutra and Bible: Faith and Japanese American World War II Incarceration (JANM, 2022-2023).

    Harumi Nako Fuentes has a B.A. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Lima. She has worked at both public and private institutions—as a teacher, media analyst, editor, and publisher of several publications. She has also taken specialization courses in brand image and marketing, and has a degree in Cultural Management. Currently, she is the Communications Manager at the Japanese Peruvian Association (APJ), editor of Kaikan magazine, and a member of the editorial board of the APJ Editorial Fund.

    Laura Honda-Hasegawa, born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1947, worked in the field of education until 2009. Since then, she has dedicated herself exclusively to writing essays, short stories, and novels from a Nikkei point of view. She grew up listening to Japanese children’s stories told by her mother. As a teenager, she read the monthly issue of Shojo Kurabu, a youth magazine for girls imported from Japan. She watched almost all of Ozu’s films, developing a great admiration for Japanese culture all her life.

Community Partners

  • Asociación Peruano Japonesa

  • Asociación Peruano Japonesa The Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ—Peruvian Japanese Association) is a non-profit organization that represents the Peruvian Nikkei community and its institutions. Founded on November 3, 1917, APJ preserves the memory of Japanese immigrants and their descendants, develops cultural promotion and welfare assistance activities, and provides education and health services. APJ also promotes cultural, scientific and technological exchange between Peru and Japan, strengthening friendly relations between both countries.
  • Japanese American Museum of Oregon

  • Japanese American Museum of Oregon The mission of the Japanese American Museum of Oregon is to preserve and honor the history and culture of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest, educate the public about the Japanese American experience during WWII, and advocate for the protection of civil rights for all Americans. Formerly known as the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, our museum is a venue for culture and research as well as an invaluable resource for exploring Nikkei experiences and their role in Oregon’s multicultural community. Our permanent exhibit space highlights Issei immigration and early life in Oregon, Nihonmachi (Japantown), and the experience during World War II through Nikkei life today.
  • Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

  • Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Founded in 1963, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is a not-for-profit organization which celebrates the unique culture, history, and legacy of Japanese Canadians for the benefit of all Canadians, while creating a tribute to the history of the Nikkei community and their contributions to the building of our nation. A multi-cultural centre, the JCCC is recognized worldwide as an important and vibrant community institution. It serves 5,200 members, almost half of which are of non-Japanese ancestry, attracts over 210,000 visitors a year to its festivals, concerts, marital arts tournaments and special events and is home to the Discover Japan Educational Program which hosts 15,000 school children annually. The JCCC has welcomed many guests and dignitaries including Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan and Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado.

Thanks to Jay Horinouchi for designing our Growing Up Nikkei logo, and our wonderful volunteers and partners who help us review, edit, upload, and promote this project!

Submit Your Story

Share your Growing Up Nikkei story!

Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 31, 2023, 6 p.m. PDT.



Subject: Growing Up Nikkei – [Contact person’s name]


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