2015 Nima of the Month

Nima are members of our Discover Nikkei Nima-kai community. Our Nima of the Month are some of our most active participants. Learn more about them and what they like about Discover Nikkei.

Janeiro 2015

chiyokomartinez (California, United States)

chiyokomartinez has participated in all three Nikkei Chronicles series. Her Nikkei+ story was selected as the Nima-kai’s most favorite. Her submission for the Nikkei Names series was selected as the second favorite English story by the Editorial committee.

[EN] I have enjoyed writing stories for the different Nikkei Chronicles. This has allowed me to get in touch with my creative side, and feel connected to the Nikkei community. Also, I didn’t realize it when I started writing these stories, but my stories have opened up great conversations with my family and friends, Nikkei and non-Nikkei. As a collection of stories, I have enjoyed reading the Nikkei Chronicles from people all over the world because it reflects the diversity of our community, acknowledges our different experiences, and ties in the commonalities we share.

Besides the stories, I have used Discover Nikkei to gain information about the community. I first found the website because of the “Military Experience Database” when I was doing research on my grandfather who is a Veteran. Then I started using the “Events” page to post events I was organizing in the community and for me to learn about events taking place around me. Overall, the website has been a great place for me to learn about the past, present, and the future of our community.

Read her stories >>

Fevereiro 2015

ryusukekawai (Kanagawa, Japan)

ryusukekawai recently joined our Nima-kai community, but has been sharing stories on Discover Nikkei since 2010. Currently, he is writing a series called “Neikoku Hyakunenshi” wo Yominaosu (Rereading the 100 Years of History of Nikkei in the United States).

[JA] 日系の文化や歴史は、日本と海外をつなぐ橋です。ディスカバーニッケイは、その橋の役割をして、日本だけではわからない、また、海外だけではわからない新しい視点で、人々をつないでくれます。歴史的にもさまざまな特殊な経験した人たちの文化だからこそ、二つの文化・歴史を理解するのに役立っているのでしょう。

彼のエッセイを読む >>

[EN] The Nikkei culture and history connects Japan to the rest of the world. Discover Nikkei is a bridge that links people, allowing them to see the world from a new perspective which cannot be developed in either Japan or overseas alone. It’s a culture that is built on historically unusual experience—the experience that helps us understand two different kinds of culture and history.

Read his stories >>

Março 2015

ckomai (Los Angeles, California, United States)

ckomai (Chris Komai) is a freelance writer and a community relations specialist who has been involved in Little Tokyo for four decades. He is a regular contributor to Discover Nikkei.

What I find most valuable on Discover Nikkei are the many articles that are published regularly. Because the Nikkei experience is so vast and diverse, it provides me with a constant source of insight to what is interesting and important to other people of Japanese ancestry. While I am limited to the English articles, I find what is available to me (from Buddhist altars in camps to Naomi Hirahara’s detective series to the meaning of Japanese New Year food) illuminating and personally enriching. It is also exciting since I don’t know what will be published next.

Read his articles >>

Abril 2015

minami86 (Tōkyō, Japan)

minami86 is a Japanese/English translator and writer. She currently helps us to translate Japanese articles and interviews into English.

[EN] Discover Nikkei is a place where I can both discover my identity as a Japanese who spent a number of years in the U.S. and get lost in the community—in a good way. As a translator, I’ve had opportunities to rediscover Japan in such a way that makes me realize how much I do not know about the country.

On the site, there are many things I can relate to, whether it’s a struggle to assimilate into a culture or a sense of belonging in the sharing of the Japanese language in its original form. Perhaps the true essence of a culture is there, which means that I still need to learn Spanish and Portuguese to fully experience the best of what Discover Nikkei has to offer!

Read her stories >>

Maio 2015

grantdin (California, United States)

grantdin is the Community Relations Director at Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. He is looking for Japanese immigration stories, in particular those through Angel Island from 1910-1940. He has contributed a number of Nikkei stories to Discover Nikkei about Japanese immigrants and American-born citizens who were arrested shortly after Pearl Harbor and detained on Angel Island in 1942 and 1943 before being sent to Department of Justice and US Army camps including Santa Fe, NM and many others.

[EN] I have enjoyed reading the stories by my friend Bill Watanabe. They give me a great sense of what growing up JA in the Valley was like for him.

I hope if people have more stories to share about those who immigrated through Angel Island or were briefly detained there during World War II, they can share them with me.

Read his stories >>

Junho 2015

yuri_brockett (Washington, United States)

yuri_brockett is currently sharing a series or articles titled “Obaasan no Tegami” (available in Japanese only) which examines the experiences of Japanese American children in World War II concentration camps through their letters and diaries.

[JA] 1985年、東京から夫の大学院留学のため、家族で渡米。ニューヨーク北西部に位置する小さな大学町では、日系人の方と出会うチャンスはなく、西海岸のワシントン州に移ってからも、日系人の方と親しくなる機会は長い間ありませんでした。戦争中の日系人収容所の存在は認識していたものの、子育てに忙しかったこともあって、長い間調べることも無くそのままになっていましたが、この度、「おばあさんの手紙」を書くにあたって、本、DENSHO、二世の方にお話を伺うこと、またワシントン大学でのカシマ教授の授業を聴講することを通して、やっと日系人収容所のことが少し分かってきたと同時に、今、アメリカで私たちが手にしている自由は、一世、二世の方々が苦難の上、辛抱強く戦い得てくださった賜物だと腑に落ちました。この事実は、アメリカで暮らす日本生まれ、日本育ちの私のなかの欠けていた部分を満たし、より心豊に毎日を過ごせるようになったように思います。


[EN] In 1985 our family came to America for my husband’s graduate work. In a small university town in upstate New York where we first landed, there were few occasions to meet Japanese Americans. Even after moving to the West Coast, to the State of Washington, until quite recently I had little contact with Japanese Americans. I had been aware of the existence of the JA concentration camps during WWII, but it was not until I started writing “Obaasan no Tegami” (Japanese only) that I began to interact with the JA community. Through extensive reading of books on the incarceration and the Densho Archives, interviewing Nisei internees and attending Prof. Kashima’s class at the University of Washington, I came to understand that the freedom we all enjoy today owes much to the Issei’s and Nisei’s perseverance and fight for equal treatment. Understanding this history has helped close the gap I felt living in America as a person born and raised in Japan.

Discover Nikkei is a treasure trove of Nikkei history, not just in the United States, but in Canada, and South America. I love exploring it.

Julho 2015

MaryUrashima (California, United States)

MaryUrashima is a writer who has contributed stories about the Nikkei community in Historic Wintersburg, California since 2013. She chairs the effort to save this Japanese American historical site in Huntington Beach, California.

I am continually learning from the writers who contribute to Discover Nikkei, about history, personal perspectives, community, and cultural events. I am so grateful to Discover Nikkei for sharing the stories of Historic Wintersburg, which helps ensure this history is not lost and which brings us new support in our preservation effort. I receive truly wonderful encouragement from Discover Nikkei writers, editors, and readers. Thank you for giving this history a collective voice and a “home” to network with others!

Discover Nikkei is a treasure trove of Nikkei history, not just in the United States, but in Canada, and South America. I love exploring it.

Read her stories >>

Agosto 2015

culturalnews (California, United States)

culturalnews (Shigeharu Higashi) is a Japanese writer who lives in Los Angeles, CA. He has contributed various stories, including film reviews and interviews with artists and former Nisei Week Festival queens.

[JA] グーグル検索をすれば、なんでも知ることができるように思ってしまうインターネットの時代ですが、誰かが情報をウェブに投稿しなければ、情報は存在しませんし、検索にひっかかる情報が求める情報にはなりません。




彼のエッセイを読む >> [JA, 一部EN]

[EN] In the age of the Internet, you would think that you can find anything with a Google search. But, unless someone posts something online, that information does not exist. In some cases, the information you find may be totally wrong.

Discover Nikkei is an indispensable website which provides information about the over 100 year history of Japanese immigrants and their descendants in four languages. The articles on Discover Nikkei are not only informative, but also worth reading as stories.

I realize that the range of Japanese immigrant subjects are extensive, and the depth of the immigration histories are impressive once you start to collect information.

I started to contribute articles to Discover Nikkei in Spring 2014. I am honored to write about the history of the Japanese Americans in Los Angeles.

Read his stories >> [JA, partially EN]

Setembro 2015

Javiernesto (Lima, Peru)

Javiernesto is a Peruvian writer whose first article was posted on Discover Nikkei in 2007. He has now shared over 20 stories on Discover Nikkei, both through our partner, Asociación Peruano Japonesa, and on his own. Last year, he also served as an instructor for the Nikkei Names workshop in Lima, Peru.

[ES] Me gusta Discover Nikkei porque me da la oportunidad de conocer más de la historia del Perú y de otros países latinoamericanos relacionados a la comunidad nikkei, con artículos, testimonios vivos y recuentos históricos que cobran vida en su web. Me parece destacable que permitan a toda la colectividad sumarse gratuitamente y colaborar con esos tesoros informativos que cualquiera puede guardar en un cajón de fotografías.

Lea sus artículos [ES] >>

[EN] I like Discover Nikkei because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about the history of Peru and other Latin American countries related to the Nikkei community with articles, living testimonies, and historical accounts that come alive on its website. It seems remarkable that a site enables the whole community to join together for free and interact with these informative treasures that anyone can keep in a box of photographs.

Read his stories [ES] >>

Outubro 2015

chikkishimanju (New York, United States)

hikkishimanju (a.k.a. Kimiko Medlock) is one of our newer Nima-kai members who is very active on Discover Nikkei. She began writing articles for Discover Nikkei this summer.

[EN] I found Discover Nikkei by coincidence last fall, and I still can’t quite believe my luck. My sisters and I collectively knew fewer than ten other Japanese people growing up, and so the idea that a Japanese American community exists, let alone that it exists in such numbers that it may support expansive community projects, still seems wonderfully unbelievable to all of us.

Discover Nikkei is an amazing resource for Nikkei around the globe to read, write, and record the voices of their communities. My own favorite aspect of the journal so far has been its archive of oral interviews. I have spent many hours looking through videos of various iconic American taiko players, and I look forward to many more! Thank you for this invaluable resource.

Read her stories [EN] >>

Novembro 2015

rafushimpo (California, United States)

The Rafu Shimpo is the premier newspaper of the Japanese American community in Los Angeles area. Since 1903, it has provided bilingual coverage and analysis of Nikkei news in Los Angeles and beyond. They recently started to share a new series on Discover Nikkei called “Voices of Volunteers” in English and Japanese.

[EN] The Rafu Shimpo has been collaborating with Discover Nikkei. We love working with Discover Nikkei and republishing its articles because it has a wealth of stories about not just the Japanese American experience but the Nikkei experience worldwide. No other site does this in all four of the major Nikkei community languages, which means that Discover Nikkei has a unique ability to bring people together who may never have been able to communicate otherwise.

Over the years, we’ve watched Discover Nikkei grow, through improvements to its website, and especially through the birth of its yearly themed story collections. We’re very pleased to be able to work together to share Nikkei stories.

Read their stories >>

Dezembro 2015

tatianamaebuchi (Brazil)

tatianamaebuchi is a Japanese Brazilian journalist who has a Nisei mother and Sansei father. She has shared her stories on Discover Nikkei in Portuguese since July 2015.

[PT] Até a faculdade, tive pouco contato com a cultura japonesa. Minha imersão na cultura aconteceu quando fiz estágio dentro da comunidade nipo-brasileira e foi aí que aprendi muitas coisas. Percebi também sua riqueza e importância. Hoje, já faz parte de minha identidade e, por isso, tenho o papel de ajudar a divulgar os costumes, tradições, valores, crenças e outros. Fico feliz com a oportunidade de contribuir com o Discover Nikkei!

Leia seus artigos >> [PT]

[EN] Until college I had little contact with Japanese culture. I’ve been through an immersion when I did an internship inside the descendant community. That’s how I learned many things. I realized its richness and importance. Nowadays it’s part of my identity and that’s why I have the responsibility of publishing about customs, traditions, standards, beliefs, and other things. I’m happy to have the opportunity to contribute to Discover Nikkei!

Read her stories >> [PT]

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Apoie o projeto

Descubra Nikkei

O site Descubra Nikkei é um lugar once você pode se conectar com outras pessoas e assim participar nas experiências dos nikkeis. Para continuar a manter e expandir este projeto, nós precisamos da sua ajuda!

Maneiras de ajudar >>

Projeto do Japanese American National Museum

The Nippon Foundation