Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía

Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía es un espacio destinado a la comunidad nikkei para compartir historias a través de diversas composiciones sobre cultura, historia y experiencia personal. La columna presentará una amplia variedad de formas poéticas y contenido con temas que incluyen historia, raíces, identidad; historia—el pasado en el presente; la comida como ritual, celebración y legado; rituales y supuestos de tradiciones; lugar, ubicación y comunidad así como el amor.

Hemos invitado a la autora, artista y poetisa traci kato-kiriyama para que sea la curadora de esta columna de poesía mensual, en donde publicaremos a uno o dos poetas los tercer jueves de cada mes, desde escritores mayores o jóvenes que recién empiezan en la poesía a autores publicados de todo el país. Esperamos descubrir una red de voces vinculadas entre sí a través de innumerables diferencias y experiencias conectadas.

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Inspiration

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 graciously oblige by quickly putting something together from the inspiration that abounds in the springtime—so thankful that she did. Enjoy!

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Patty Ito Nagano is a retired elementary school teacher. She moved to Downtown Little Tokyo with her husband Steve in 2011. She loves …

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Spring

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 values and awkward first jobs, to the fierce and funny heroes around us in community. Enjoy!

—traci kato-kiriyama 

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Rick Noguchi’s publications include two collections of poetry, The Ocean Inside Kenji Takezo (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), which won the Associated Writing Programs Award Series, …

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Appetite

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 Toronto. Shō currently resides, in his words, “on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Territory (Victoria, British Columbia).” Enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Genie Nakano is a poet/writer, dancer with a master's degree in dance from UCLA. She currently teaches yoga and tanka at Gardena Japanese Cultural Center. She was born …

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Open

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 to let go of or draw nearer - there is challenge and reflection felt throughout...enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Mariko Fujimoto Rooks is a mixed race Japanese American and African American first-year student at Yale University, where she studies public health. She serves as an Student Coordinator …

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December

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 come from their time this month with family in Japan. Enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Ken Okuno is a Sansei, born and raised in Pasadena, California. A poet, novelist, and musician, he currently lives in Altadena, CA. He attended University of California, Berkeley where he won the …

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food hiroshima inspiration Kyoko Takenaka mothers Nikkei Uncovered Open Patty Nagano Pearl Harbor poet poetry sakura spring women World War II