Tamiko Nimura

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

Updated November 2020

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Sansei Granddaughters’ Journey Exhibit at Tanforan Detention Center Site

In 2018, five Sansei women artists traveled to Manzanar’s annual pilgrimage in order to honor their family histories of wartime incarceration. Each of them had worked with this history in some form in their wide-ranging art careers, but this journey was special. In order to chronicle their experiences, they created a documentary, Sansei Granddaughters’ Journey. Now the five artists (Ellen Bepp, Shari Arai DeBoer, Reiko Fujii, Kathy Fujii-Oka, and NaOmi Judy Shintani) are bringing their art, their documentary, and their expertise to another site of Japanese American wartime…

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Karen Maeda Allman's Life in Punk Rock - Part 3

Read Part 2 >> LIFE AFTER PUNK ROCK Tamiko Nimura (TN): So well this is a good chance, I think, to ask about the groups that have come along later like Sleater-Kinney, like Bikini Kill, like the Linda Lindas….I just wanted to know your take on them and just hear how you must feel to see them on the rise. Karen Maeda Allman (KMA): I thought it was really exciting and anyway I guess I should've known it's inevitable…But I guess nothing’s inevitable, but I just loved it. I loved Bikini Kill, I loved things that Kathleen Hanna did after that, I thought she was re…

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Karen Maeda Allman's Life in Punk Rock - Part 2

Read Part 1 >> LIFE IN PUNK Tamiko Nimura (TN): It's so fantastic to hear about this I just remember reading [and] doing a little bit of googling on you and of course you know all your bookselling stuff comes up, but it was like yeah there is this picture of you and your “armor” at the Smithsonian, and I thought, “wait a second.” Can you tell me about this, about your armor, and what it was like to put it on? Karen Maeda Allman (KMA): Well you know, Madonna wore a lot of bracelets and stuff. And she was very influenced by punks in LA fashion-wise, just as…

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Karen Maeda Allman's Life in Punk Rock - Part 1

In the literary world, bookseller Karen Maeda Allman is widely known and respected for the bestselling authors she has brought to the Seattle area, for her advocacy for BIPOC authors, as well as for the literary prizes she has judged. I have known Karen personally for a few years now, and always felt comfortable in her calm and assertive presence. Imagine my delight when I recently found out that Karen had a previous life as the lead singer and lyricist of a Tucson-based hardcore punk rock band in the early 1980s! I had to find out more. Through some research I found that Karen’s band…

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Inspire Forward: Nikkei Heroes Under 30

“A Deep Collective Feeling”: Emily Akpan, Black-Nikkei Activist Hero

Emily Akpan is a Black-Nikkei activist living in Brooklyn, New York. She has been active in many social justice struggles, including Tsuru for Solidarity and New York Day of Remembrance. In March 2022, she was kind enough to take time to answer some questions for Discover Nikkei’s Inspire Forward: Nikkei Heroes Under 30 series. Her story is inspiring and provides insights and help for aspiring activists. * * * * * Tamiko Nimura (TN): Congratulations on being selected as a “Nikkei hero”! How do you feel about being selected? Emily Akpan (EA): Thank you so much! I feel…

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