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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Weaving

A’misa ChiuKyoko Nakamarutraci kato-kiriyama

Happy summer, everyone! We’re excited to bring two more new voices to the Discover Nikkei platform - originally from the Midwest and now residing in LA, Kyoko Nakamaru; and originally from the South Bay and now residing in Portland, A’misa Chiu. Kyoko’s pieces connect her sense of self to another …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Inspiration

Kyoko TakenakaPatty Ito Naganotraci kato-kiriyama

From Shin Nikkei Kyoko Takenaka (aka Jinjabrew) and Sansei Patty Nagano, we have pieces that span various themes of inspiration. From Kyoko we have lovely and fierce words on “femme” themes, from mothers to sisterhood. And knowing that Patty had just returned from Japan, I asked her if she would …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Transformation

Rey Fukuda SalinasCandace Kitatraci kato-kiriyama

This month’s column gave two writers the theme of “transformation.” One set of poetry was submitted in Spanish, by Rey Fukuda Salinas, born in Japan and raised internationally in places including Japan, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. One submission came in English, by Candace Kita, born and raised in Chicago and currently based …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Spring

Rick NoguchiriKu Matsudatraci kato-kiriyama

The new season upon us is ushered in here by Los Angeles/Orange County-based riKu Matsuda and LA-born and raised Rick Noguchi, who each lend us two pieces that spring the many from memories and characters in our lives. There is a familiarity with the lessons learned and shared—of family, work …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Appetite

Genie NakanoShō Tanakatraci kato-kiriyama

This month we have some light and delicious, sweet yet evocative, precious to ephemeral moments through the words shared here by the lovely yogi and artist, Genie Nakano, who hails from the South Bay of Los Angeles, and by Shō Tanaka, a friend I met a few moons ago over in …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Open

Mariko Fujimoto RooksPogo Saitotraci kato-kiriyama

Happy 2018, folks! Upon entering a new year, we put forth the theme of “open” to writers Mariko Rooks, a Culver City native who is currently studying at Yale, and Pogo Saito, now based in Nyssa, Oregon. Their pieces here explore critical openings between self and the things we want …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

December

Daisuke ShenKen Okunotraci kato-kiriyama

For this final column of 2017, I chose to focus on the broad possibilities this month provides—it lends itself to the December 7 reflection that comes to us from Altadena based Ken Okuno, as much as it comes through bittersweet introspection from Wilmington, North Carolina based Daisuke Shen, whose words …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Place / Location

Erik Matsunagatraci kato-kiriyama

This month, we feature just one writer and a beloved one to the Discover Nikkei space at that—Chicago native, Erik Matsunaga. Erik’s piece is a simple moment between old childhood pals and one that sets an image of “home” or places of significance that are, at once, transient and meaningful…enjoy.

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Bite

Kazumi ChinLawrence Matsudatraci kato-kiriyama

As we enter the final quarter of 2017, I didn't want to “ease” into fall but rather, take a bite out of it. Maybe there’s something feisty in the air with all the ash and soot and unrest all around us. In any case, this isn’t a time for languor …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Mothers—affection, lost & found

Kathy Nishimoto MasaokaKurt Yokoyama-Ikedatraci kato-kiriyama

This month, we take a somewhat different turn, in presenting some prose from longtime community organizer and LA-native, Kathy Nishimoto Masaoka, and a piece meant for the spoken word stage from Hawai‘i-born/Torrance-raised educator, Kurt Yokoyama-Ikeda. They both sent in pieces about their mothers and I found a yearning, discovery, and …

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About

Pronouns: she/her. writer/actor/theatre deviser/community organizer/educator/facilitator/author; current director/co-founder for Tuesday Night Project, presenter of the Tuesday Night Cafe art+community series in Little Tokyo; author for Writ Large Press; writer/actor of PULLproject Ensemble with aerialist/actor Kennedy Kabasares; steering committee member of the VigilantLove network against violence and Islamophobia (and for justice, solidarity and love by any means necessary:); member of the Okaeri Nikkei LGBTQ network.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns
  • art (performance and visual; contemporary and traditional); politics; spiritual practices/religious history; Nikkei diaspora.

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