Nikkei Chronicles #11

Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community

Back by popular demand, our theme for the 11th edition of Nikkei Chronicles is Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community.

How does the food you eat connect your Nikkei community? What kinds of Nikkei recipes have been passed down from generation to generation? What is your favorite Japanese and/or Nikkei dish? These are just a few questions to get you started on thinking about Nikkei food–how Nikkei use local ingredients, cooking techniques, agricultural practices, and tastes to create their own versions of Japanese food.

We invite you to submit your personal stories, essays, memoirs, academic papers, restaurant reviews, and other prose works. We are particularly interested in sharing Nikkei family and community stories behind favorite recipes.

All submissions that meet the guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the Itadakimasu 3! series starting June 2022. Submissions will be accepted from Sunday, May 1 until Friday, September 30, 2022 at 6 p.m. PDT



All published stories will be eligible for selection as the Nima-kai community favorite. We encourage you to submit your work early so that others can vote for your story as a favorite by logging in and giving it a “star”!

Four additional stories in English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese will be selected by the editorial committee (English: Gil Asakawa, Japanese: Masayuki Fukasawa, Spanish: Javier García Wong-Kit, Portuguese: Telma Shiraishi). Selected stories will be featured and translated into Discover Nikkei’s other site languages.

Thank you to Jay Horinouchi for designing our Itadakimasu 3! logo, community partners and our wonderful volunteers who help us review, edit, upload, and promote this project! 

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must be related to Nikkei experiences, history, or culture. Below please find the guidelines for format, languages, length, images, and author information:

Accepted writing formats:

  • Personal stories and essays
  • Recipes
    • Must be accompanied by a story or background information on why the recipe is meaningful to you or why you are compelled to share within this forum.
  • Memoirs
  • Academic papers
  • Book reviews
  • Historical and research-based essays
  • Other prose works

If you have questions about whether your idea or topic is appropriate for this project, please contact us at

       Please Note:
  • Poetry or video submissions are not accepted.
  • Submit all pieces by email as Microsoft Word or Google Doc documents. PDF and print copies are not accepted.
  • Italicize all foreign words.
    For example: My tio Frank made a bento for lunch.
  • Previously published works are acceptable with copyright permission cleared by the author, but your submission cannot be previously published on Discover Nikkei.
  • All copyrights for the piece will remain with the copyright owner, but upon submission, permission is granted to Discover Nikkei to publish the work on our website and with any other publication (electronic or print) in collaboration with the Itadakimasu 3! project. Permission is also granted to Discover Nikkei to share images and excerpts for promotional purposes in conjunction with the project.
  • If you have other types of Nikkei-related stories that don't fit within Itadakimasu 3!, you can still submit them! Check out our regular Discover Nikkei Journal submission guidelines.

Disclaimer: By submitting your story, you are granting Discover Nikkei and the Japanese American National Museum permission to post your article and images on, and potentially other publications in print or online affiliated with this project. This includes any translations of your work in association with Discover Nikkei. You, the writer, will retain copyright. Check Discover Nikkei’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more details.

Accepted languages:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese


  • English, Spanish, and Portuguese articles: 600–1,500 words.
  • Japanese articles: 1000–2,500 characters.


  • Applicants MUST submit at least 1 photograph to illustrate your story.
  • Only submit images for which you either own copyrights or have secured permission to use for this purpose.
  • .jpg, .png  or .gif files—150 dpi, at least 1200 pixels wide preferred. If you do not have the capability to resize the image, send us the large file and we will resize it.
  • Provide a caption and/or photo credit for each image if necessary.
  • Do not include images within the Word file or Google doc. Send image files as separate email attachments.

Author Information:

  • Submit a short 3–5 sentence (about 50 – 100 words in English, Spanish, and Portuguese; about 100 – 200 characters in Japanese) biography written in the same language of the article that you are submitting.
  • Send a headshot of the author as a .jpg, .png or .gif file at 150 dpi, at least 500 pixels x 500 pixels. The photo will be cropped to a square image. If you do not have the capability to resize or crop the image, send us the file and we will crop the image for you.
  • Stories written by multiple authors are accepted. In this case, please submit a biography and headshot for each author.

Deadline for Submissions

The deadline for submissions will be rolling: May 1, 2022 until September 30, 2022 at 6 p.m. (PDT).  

Editorial Committee

    Gil Asakawa is a journalist, editor, and expert on Japanese American and Asian American culture, history, and identity. He blogs at and is the author of Being Japanese American. His forthcoming book, Tabemasho! Let’s Eat! A Tasty History of Japanese Food in America will be published in August 2022. 


    Masayuki Fukasawa is a journalist and author covering the Japanese Brazilian community. His book, Parallel World, chronicles his experiences working with Brazilians at a factory in Oizumi-machi, Gunma Prefecture, Japan in 1995. It received the Ushio Nonfiction Award in 1999. He is the editor in chief of Diário Brasil Nippou in São Paulo, Brazil.


    Javier García Wong-Kit is a journalist, professor, and director of Otros Tiempos magazine. Author of Tentaciones narrativas and De mis cuarenta, he writes for Kaikan, the magazine of the Japanese Peruvian Association. 


    Telma Shiraishi is the head chef of Restaurante Aizomê, which crafts Japanese food with Brazilian and Japanese ingredients, and commands an Aizomê unit at the Japan House São Paulo. Her cuisine is based on a balanced combination between hot and cold recipes with authentically Japanese values, seasonal and local ingredients. Telma is also in charge of the kitchen at the Japanese Consulate in São Paulo, where she holds the title of Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador, which was granted by the Japanese Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Telma is the first Brazilian professional and one of the few women in the world to receive the honor.


Community Partners

  • The Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ—Peruvian Japanese Association) is a non-profit organization that represents the Peruvian Nikkei community and its institutions. Founded on November 3, 1917, APJ preserves the memory of Japanese immigrants and their descendants, develops cultural promotion and welfare assistance activities, and provides education and health services. APJ also promotes cultural, scientific and technological exchange between Peru and Japan, strengthening friendly relations between both countries.

  • The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) was built in 1913 by Japanese immigrants as a community gathering place and Japanese language school. Founded in 1902, it is the oldest continuously operating Japanese language school in the continental U.S. The JCCCW features exhibits, classes, and activities to preserve and highlight Japanese and Japanese American history and culture.

  • JCI Brazil – Japan is a local São Paulo, Brazil chapter of Junior Chamber International (JCI), a non-profit organization of active citizens from all sectors of society who embrace new ideas, collaboration, and diversity. JCI members are concerned about the future of the world and are committed to making an impact in their communities.

  • Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre’s (NNMCC) mission is to honor, preserve, and share Japanese culture and Japanese Canadian history and heritage for a better Canada. Since September 22, 2000, the cultural space has offered unique programming, exhibits, and events. The NNMCC’s collections include over 2,600 objects, 41,000 photographs, 38 meters of textual records, 650 oral history recordings, and 156 film reels of historically and culturally significant items. With the addition of family and community stories every year, the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre ensures the legacies of people of Japanese ancestry in Canada live on into the future.


Submit Your Story

Share your Itadakimasu 3! story!

Submissions will be accepted through September 30, 2022, at 6 p.m. PDT.



Subject: Itadakimasu 3! – [Contact person’s name]


Favorites | Writing Prompts | Submission Guidelines | Deadline


Community Partners