Power of Our Stories

On Topaz Stories and “Authentic Voice”: A Conversation With Writer And Editor Ruth Sasaki - Part 1


The Redress Origins of the Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown: A Conversation with Susan Hayase and Tom Izu


A Sister Artist Interview: Teruko Nimura And the Eloquence of Handmade Objects


Strings of origami cranes, circles of wish lanterns, maneki nekos and daruma figures—for decades I’ve watched my sister Teruko grow as an artist. I remember Teruko’s pencil sketches and charcoal drawings that our mother framed in our hallway to Teruko’s first solo show in Sacramento to public art installations in …

An Interview With City of Ghosts Yonsei Creator Elizabeth Ito 


A maneki neko statue keeps moving mysteriously around a “sort of” Japanese restaurant in Boyle Heights. A music teacher keeps hearing some drumming in Leimert Park, with no visible drummer. A team of kid detectives roams Los Angeles, looking for ghosts—not to vaporize or “bust” them, but to listen to …

“Be Bold”: The Artistry of 99-Year Old Kibei Nisei Artist Koho Yamamoto


Was I looking at a pile of charred kindling, a set of raven’s wings or feathers?

On Nikkei and Cross-Racial Solidarity: Three Seattle-Area Artist/Activist Perspectives


In a heightened wave of anti-Asian racism, including attacks on Asian elders and the murders of 8 Asian women in Atlanta, I have felt the need to reach out—to family, to friends, to community. (For more about what’s been happening in the Seattle area, including a response from Yonsei professor …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column



As we survey the past year of lockdowns and quarantines that started here in the States by mid-March, 2020, we take stock of a wide spectrum of revelations and experiences over the last twelve months. From new personal practices and experiments in the arena of safer-at-home, to illness and loss, …

Writing We Hereby Refuse: 3 Things I Learned about Resistance


When I was a little kid in California in the early 1980s, it was cool to be a rebel, or a resister. On the sawdust-covered playground of my elementary school, we played out different scenes from the movie Star Wars. A popular scene reenactment was the trash compactor scene, when …

Kiku Hughes’ graphic novel Displacement addresses the intergenerational trauma of Japanese American incarceration through a story of time travel


Falling Into Public History: My Writing about Japanese American and African American Community Stories


The following essay is adapted from a talk that I gave to the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation, Tacoma Historical Society, and Historic Tacoma in November 2020. An edited video version is available here on YouTube.

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Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American writer living in Tacoma, Washington. Her training in literature and American ethnic studies (MA, PhD, University of Washington) prepared her to research, document, and tell the stories of people of color. She has been writing for Discover Nikkei since 2008.

Tamiko just published her first book, <em>Rosa Franklin: A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice</em> (Washington State Legislature Oral History Program, 2020). Her second book is a co-written graphic novel, titled <em>We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration</em> (Chin Music Press/Wing Luke Asian Museum, forthcoming February 9, 2021). She is working on a memoir called <em>PILGRIMAGE</em>.


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