Stuff contributed by miam

Interview with a Nikkei forager: mushroom hunting with Sayuri Shinya

Mia Nakaji Monnier

On still-damp, foggy mornings after the rain has cleared, Sayuri Shinya and her husband drive from their home in the San Francisco Bay Area and into the woods, looking for mushrooms. Shinya began forging five years ago, when she met her husband, who grew up in Germany and has hunted …

“Thirty Minutes Over Oregon” Introduces Children to the Complexity of War and Friendship

Mia Nakaji Monnier

When we talk about World War II, it’s often in terms of major milestones: the racist incarceration of Japanese Americans; the bombings of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. But there are infinite smaller-scale stories that many of us will never hear, like that of Nobuo Fujita, a Japanese pilot sent …

Author Andrea Tsurumi on kindness and the role of uncertainty in art and cultural identity - Part 2

Mia Nakaji Monnier

Read Part 1 >>

Author Andrea Tsurumi on kindness and the role of uncertainty in art and cultural identity - Part 1

Mia Nakaji Monnier

In the undersea world of Andrea Tsurumi’s new picture book, Crab Cake, the community has a steady rhythm: “ Seahorse pretends to be seaweed…Parrotfish crunches coral and poops sand…Pufferfish puffs up…And crab bakes cakes.” When a (human-caused) disaster brings this routine to a halt and all the animals into hiding, …

Ben Furuta, the Air Force Academy’s First Cadet of Color

Mia Nakaji Monnier

Full Disclosure: How My Ambiguous Looks Mean I’m Constantly Coming Out as Biracial

Mia Nakaji Monnier

Some years ago, an old friend stopped in L.A. for her summer job, driving across the country in a classic car to promote a vacation rental company. I went out to meet her and her driving partner near their rental in Hollywood, and in an act of company-paid luxury unthinkable …

A Conversation with Nancy Oda, President of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition

Mia Nakaji Monnier

Nancy Oda was very happily retired when she learned about Tuna Canyon.

Sewing Lessons

Mia Nakaji Monnier

My mom and I discovered the Japanese fabric store together two years ago. Under a blue awning, in a part of town we rarely went, these Japanese-print clothes hung in the window, and we both stopped to admire them. The store gave lessons, so we signed up, and for some …

My Life with the Anime Nerds

Mia Nakaji Monnier

Last month, I worked at Kinokuniya Bookstore’s booth at Anime Expo for the second year in a row. For two days, I stood in front of a display of posters, phone charms, and T-shirts featuring half-naked manga characters, both female and male. And for two days, I tried not to …

Keiro Addresses Community at Open Meeting

Mia Nakaji Monnier

Each July during Obon, Japanese Americans gather in the Nishi Hongwanji Temple gym to buy udon. Under the basketball hoops, they slurp noodles out of Styrofoam bowls before wandering back into the cooling night to dance Obon odori, pacing ovals in the parking lot, waving uchiwa, those round paper fans …

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I'm a recent college grad and Discover Nikkei volunteer living in LA. I love reading, writing, drinking tea, and exploring my city.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns
  • taiko

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