今月のニマ

ニマとは、ディスカバー・ニッケイのコミュニティ「ニマ会」のメンバーです。「今月のニマ」としてご紹介するのは、ニマ会のメンバーとして積極的にディスカバーニッケイへ参加してくれている方々です。彼らにとってディスカバー・ニッケイとは何なのか、このコーナーで語っていただきます。

9月 2021

kyra.karatsu (California, United States)

Kyra Karatsu is a Japanese-German Yonsei from Santa Clarita, CA—about an hour from Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, where she often visited her grandmother, Mary Karatsu, who was a long-time volunteer at the Japanese American National Museum. She is a second-year Communications major at College of the Canyons and works to develop OER materials and Zero Cost Textbooks in her college’s Online Education department. She also contributes to The Rafu Shimpo.

Kyra has followed in her grandmother’s footsteps and is now a volunteer for Discover Nikkei since this past January. She has written stories for us about Oshogatsu and the graphic novel, We Hereby Refuse. In addition, she has shared with us several of her own stories, including one about her grandmother which was included in the Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities special series. We just published a second story that’s also part of the series.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

I really enjoy the scope of the platform. One moment, I can be reading about traditional Japanese food, and the next, I’m reading through someone’s intimate, personal journey. It’s also amazing to see how simultaneously collective and diverse the lived experiences of the Nikkei community are. While I might not be able to identify with each and every story on the site, I’m always able to pluck similarities that I see reflected in my own life. On Discover Nikkei, there’s a little something for everyone.

What do you like most about volunteering for Discover Nikkei>

Before volunteering, I had relatively little writing experience and even less experience with interviewing. I was an A student in my high school English class and an editor for my school’s yearbook—but nothing could have prepared me for everything I was about to learn while volunteering. So, as both a student and a novice writer, I’m incredibly grateful that Discover Nikkei has become such a wonderful learning opportunity. And, along the way, I’ve met some really remarkable people who have just as remarkable stories to tell.

Read her stories >>

8月 2021

laurakato (California, United States)

Laura Kato is a rising third year student at Loyola Marymount University, majoring in Philosophy with minors in Political Science and Business Administration, and plans to study criminal law. She has grown up in the Japanese American community through Asian League and other various organizations. She is the upcoming president of her school’s Nikkei Student Union.

Laura is a joint intern for the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) and the Discover Nikkei project through the Nikkei Community Internship program. As part of her internship, she has written several articles, including one about her father, Judge Warren Kato, and how he has been a loving parent and role model. She also conducted a video interview with attorney Patricia Kinaga. The interview, plus a reflection article will be added to Discover Nikkei later this month.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

I love how Discover Nikkei transcends both distance and generations. Anyone who goes to the website can view stories from all different types of people, from students to judges to filmmakers, ranging from many different generations and locations. I believe that everyone has a story to tell, and being able to see what people have to say from so many different locations, professions, and ages is truly amazing.

What is the most meaningful thing that has happened during your internship?

I have had many life changing experiences during this internship but one of the most meaningful would be getting the opportunity to meet with such inspirational and successful people. I have had the honor of meeting with attorneys, judges from the Superior court, and activists who have done so much for this community.

Being able to hear their stories has really sparked a passion for law and community work within me. I am truly grateful for all that this internship has given me and hope to pay it forward in the future!

Read her stories >>

7月 2021

kreativitea (Tōkyō, Japan)

Mike Omoto is a Yonsei, originally from Southern California, now living in Japan, working as Engineering Manager for Google Maps full time. He previously taught English as an ALT in Japan. He is member emeritus of the organizing committee for Copani San Fransisco 2019, and a regular attendee of Copani and Kaigai Nikkeijin Taikai.

Mike began as a volunteer translator for Discover Nikkei, but now serves as a technical consultant. He was largely responsible for the implementation of the recent major upgrade of our website’s infrastructure.

Why is it important for you to volunteer for Discover Nikkei?

Before moving to Japan in 2008, I did not know very much Japanese. After four years of getting to know my Japanese roots and a lot of intense studying, I wanted to become a translator, and so started translating articles and content from Japanese to English for Discover Nikkei. I then started a career in tech instead of going into translation.

Sometime after, the software engineer who was originally on the Discover Nikkei project left, and my engineering skills became a lot more useful than my translation skills. I took on the role of a technical consultant for Discover Nikkei, and helped bring the site to a modern technical stack.

Volunteering for Discover Nikkei is important to me because it represents an intersection of my interests—getting to know my cultural heritage, my interest as a translator (DN provides content in four different languages!), and my skills in technology. While I’m probably not uniquely qualified to do this work, it’s a very good fit and extraordinarily fulfilling piece of volunteering work to take on.

What is the most meaningful thing that has happened as a result of your connection to Discover Nikkei?

Visiting Peru for Copani in 2017 and being on the organizing committee for Copani in 2019 were some of the most meaningful things that have happened in my life. While I had to step away from organizing due to moving to Japan, participating in Copani meant meeting Nikkei from dozens of countries, which changed my perspective on the relationship that Nikkei had across Panamerica, and made me hopeful for a more collaborative future.

Read his story >>

6月 2021

discovernikkei2021511 (Ontario, Canada)

Yusuke Tanaka immigrated from Japan to Canada in 1986. He is a freelance writer for the Japanese media, a regular columnist for Vancouver-based JCCA Bulletin and Fraser Journal, a former Japanese editor of the Nikkei Voice, and co-founder of the Katari Japanese Storytellers. He has also lectured on Nikkei history at various universities in Japan. Horonigai Shori, his translation of Bittersweet Passage by Maryka Omatsu, was awarded the 4th Canadian Prime Minister Award for Publishing in 1993.

Yusuke has been sharing articles about the Japanese Canadian community on Discover Nikkei in both English and Japanese since March 2020. He also served on last year’s editorial committee for Nikkei Chronicles #9—More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports.

[EN]
What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

What makes Discover Nikkei unique and the most special among many Nikkei media is that you publish articles in four languages: Japanese, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Most of the Nikkei people in the world, including the Nikkei descendants in Asian countries, do not know that the descendants of Japanese overseas are so dispersed. If you visit JICA’s Japanese Overseas Migration Museum (海外移住資料館) in Yokohama, you can find some information in JA, EN, and PT.

I had attended PANA’s COPANI twice in the past as the editor of a Japanese Canadian community newspaper, and I was overwhelmed by the differences and the similarities. It was such fun to mingle with other Nikkeis singing Japanese songs together in karaoke and dancing bon odori together. At the same time, learning the differences of their histories of pre-war and post-war periods stimulated my interest so much; some of them were as poignant as that of Japanese Canadians. I hope that the Japanese people in our homeland will read Discover Nikkei more attentively and will recognize the presence of the world of Nikkei.

Read his stories >>

[JA]
Q. ディスカバーニッケイの好きなところは何ですか?

ディスカバー日系を多くの日系メディアの中でもっとも特別でユニークなものにしているのは、日本語、英語、スペイン語、そしてポルトガル語の4つの言語で発行しているということです。世界の日系人は、アジア諸国の日系人とその子孫を含めて、海外の日系人がこんなに巨大な広がりをもつ人々だとはご存知ないでしょう。わずかに、横浜の海外移住資料館を訪れると、日本語、英語、そしてブラジルなどのポルトガル語で情報が得られます。

以前に2度ほど、日系カナダ人コミュニティの編集者として汎アメリカン日系人大会に出席したことがありますが、日系社会の相違と相似に圧倒されたのを覚えています。また、一緒にカラオケで日本語の歌をうたい、盆踊りを踊ったりする交流はとても楽しかったです。同時に、彼らの戦前と戦後の歴史の違いを学び、とても興味をそそられました。もっとも、日系カナダ人と同じような辛い体験も含まれてはおりました。祖国日本の人たちが、もっと日系世界に注意を向けて、その存在を認識してくれることを期待しています。

彼のエッセイを読む >>

5月 2021

lasansei (California, United States)

Amy Uyematsu is a Sansei poet from Los Angeles. She has five published poetry collections with her latest manuscript, That Blue Trickster Time, due out in 2022. Amy co-edited the widely-used UCLA anthology, Roots: An Asian American Reader. A former public high school math teacher, she currently leads a writing workshop for the Far East Lounge in Little Tokyo.

She contributed poems for the very first Nikkei Uncovered poetry column in December 2016, and has since been included in two more editions. She will be participating in the second annual Nikkei Uncovered poetry reading on May 13 (for details).

What do you like about Discover Nikkei?

Discover Nikkei is a valuable resource for connecting Nikkei throughout the Americas and around the globe. As a Sansei from LA, I especially enjoy reading the stories of Nikkei, both past and present. It’s fascinating to see how diverse and rich our Nikkei community is.

I was fortunate to be able to interview Nisei Frank Kikuchi in 2017. He was a DJ at Manzanar and shared some wonderful memories of Nisei dances in camp. Discover Nikkei included the interview in 2020. Recently I learned that this website began back in 2005—so great that it’s flourishing and going into its 16th year.

You have now contributed to three Nikkei Uncovered poetry columns. What have you enjoyed about sharing your poetry through Discover Nikkei?

My own introduction to Discover Nikkei was through the Nikkei Uncovered poetry column in 2016. I had the honor of being featured with Nisei poet Hiroshi Kashiwagi. I’ve enjoyed learning about other Nikkei poets and reading their poems. Poetry is such a key part of Japanese culture and an art form which many Nikkei have continued, whether in English, Spanish, Portuguese. traci kato-kiriyama, who curates the column, is helping to share Nikkei poetry across generations and continents.

Read her poems and stories >>

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