Discover Nikkei

Submit your stories for Nikkei Names 2! Submissions deadline: October 31, 2024

Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?

Nikkei Chronicles #13
Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?

What’s in a name? Ten years ago, we asked that question and were moved by the wonderful stories submitted about how Nikkei names connect families, reflect cultural identity, discuss struggles, and more. We decided to revisit the theme for the 13th edition of Nikkei Chronicles.

Share your Nikkei name story and help us explore the meanings and origins behind Nikkei names. Acceptable formats are stories, essays, memoirs, and vignettes. Submissions about diverse perspectives are encouraged, including historical essays on naming people or the origin of names, how names become cross-cultural, or writing about names other than your own.

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. Multiple entries per author will be accepted.

Submissions are accepted from June 1 – October 31, 2024 at 6 p.m. PDT. Stories will be published beginning in July, so early submissions are greatly appreciated and encouraged!

Submit Your Story

Share your Nikkei Names 2 story!

Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 31, 2024, 6 p.m. PDT.



Subject: Nikkei Names 2 – [Contact person’s name]

On this page


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.

Writing Prompts

Here are some questions to help get your ideas flowing:

  • What is the meaning of your name?
  • Do you have a Japanese name? What other names were being considered when you were born?
  • Were you named after someone (or something, or someplace) specific?
  • What is your nickname? How was it chosen?
  • Do you use different names in your family versus at school or work?
  • How does your name reflect your sense of cultural identity or roots?
  • How has your name affected other people’s perceptions of you? Have you been discriminated against because of your name?
  • What do you like most and/or least about your name?
  • How many people in your family or in your life have the same name?
  • Have you legally changed your name? Why?
  • What are the stories behind Nikkei street names, buildings, and organizations like Toyo Miyatake Way, Yamato Colony, the Norman Y. Mineta International Airport, and others? How have these places affected you?
  • Why are names important?

Read stories from the original Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João? series for more inspiration!

If you have questions about whether your idea or topic is appropriate for this project, please contact us at

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. Poetry and video submissions will not be accepted.

Accepted file formats: 
Microsoft Word documents or Google Docs. PDF and print copies will not be accepted.

Accepted languages: 
English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese

• 600–1,500 words for English, Spanish, and Portuguese articles.
• 1,000–3,000 characters for Japanese articles.

Please italicize all foreign words.
For example: My tio Frank made a bento for lunch.

Previously published works are acceptable with copyright permission cleared by the author. Submissions cannot be previously published on Discover Nikkei.

All copyrights for the piece remain with the copyright owner. Upon submission, permission is granted to Discover Nikkei to publish the work on its website and with any other electronic or print publication in collaboration with the project.

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


Please submit at least 1 image to illustrate your story. Submissions without images will not be accepted.

  • Accepted file formats: .jpg, .png, or .gif

  • Preferred size: 150 dpi, at least 1200 pixels on the longest side preferred. For best results, please send the largest pixel dimensions possible.
    *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.

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 × 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, 2024, 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.

Community Partners

Asociación Peruano Japonesa Logo

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.

The Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance – Bunkyo Logo

The Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance – Bunkyo

The Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance – Bunkyo was founded in 1955 to increase understanding and fraternization between Japanese-Brazilians, promote the preservation and dissemination of Japanese culture, and intensify Brazil-Japan exchanges. Located in the Liberdade neighborhood of downtown São Paulo, it is also responsible for managing the Japanese Pavilion in Ibirapuera Park and Bunkyo Kokushikan Park, in São Roque.

The Rafu Shimpo Logo

The Rafu Shimpo

The Rafu Shimpo is a bilingual Japanese-English language newspaper based in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Established in 1903, the Rafu Shimpo has survived two world wars, a depression, and the forced evacuation of our entire community. It is now the longest-running Japanese American daily newspaper in the United States.

Nikkei Australia Logo

Nikkei Australia

The mission of Nikkei Australia is to preserve and promote the legacy of the Japanese diaspora in Australia through artistic, cultural, academic, educational, and community engagement activities. Established in 2013 by researchers who facilitated the Civilian Internee Project, the members of Nikkei Australia include academics, creative practitioners, community cultural workers, and individuals interested in documenting Nikkei histories and stories in Australia.

Editorial Committee

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

    Kristen Nemoto Jay was the former editor of The Hawai‘i Herald. Her late grandfather, Wilbert Sanderson Holck, was a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who helped create the sister-city relationship between Bruyeres, France and Honolulu, Hawai‘i. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Chapman University and a master’s degree in journalism from DePaul University.

    Eijiro Ozaki is a Japanese actor who started with theater and television works in Tokyo in the late 1990s. His film and TV credits include the World War II epic, Letters From Iwo Jima, Shōgun, Heroes, and The Last Samurai. Ozaki is the author of 『思いを現実にする力』 (The Power to Turn Thoughts into Reality)” and the mail magazine 『夢をつかむプロセス』 (The Process of Seizing Dreams).

    Mónica Kogiso is an Argentine Nisei and producer for Japanese media who has translated literature and children’s stories by Japanese authors. A graduate of the University of Salvador, she specializes in Japan travel, organizing events that bridge people and cultures. She also promotes the leadership of Nikkei youth from Argentina and Latin America.

    Liana Nakamura is the author of the book amarela-manga: a Japanese-Poetic Anthology and a librarian specialist in diversity and inclusion. She is the winner of the Nikkei Literary Award (Manga) from the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance and the 37th edition of the Yoshio Takemoto Award from Nikkei Bungaku Literary Magazine.

Thanks to Jay Horinouchi for designing our cool logo for this series, and to our wonderful staff and volunteers who help us review, edit, upload, and promote this project!

Discover Nikkei Updates

Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?
What’s in a name? Share the story of your name with our community. Submissions now open!
Episode 16
June 25 (US) | June 26 (Japan)
Featured Nima:
Stan Kirk
Guest Host:
Yoko Murakawa
See exciting new changes to Discover Nikkei. Find out what’s new and what’s coming soon!