Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column is a space for the Nikkei community to share stories through diverse writings on culture, history, and personal experience. The column will feature a wide variety of poetic form and subject matter with themes that include history, roots, identity; history—past into the present; food as ritual, celebration, and legacy; ritual and assumptions of tradition; place, location, and community; and love.

We’ve invited author, performer, and poet traci kato-kiriyama to curate this monthly poetry column, where we will publish one to two poets on the third Thursday of each month—from senior or young writers new to poetry, to published authors from around the country. We hope to uncover a web of voices linked through myriad differences and connected experience.

Logo design by Alison Skilbred

culture es

Explosión

Este mes, nuevamente con la ayuda de la mamá de mi pareja (una artista nikkei nacida y criada en Perú), llegué a apreciar este poema por su intensidad, escrito por el poeta nikkei radicado en Lima, Perú, José Natsuhara. Una fuerte imaginería abunda a lo largo de este poema, lleno de imágenes impresionantes, de lo cotidiano a una mayoría de edad sobrenatural... Un poema al ataque. Disfruten...

—traci kato-kiriyama

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José Natsuhara es un poeta nikkei de Lima, Perú, director de la plataforma de poesía y humanidades Tríada Primate. Es director de la Colección Total …

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Recuerdo y laberintos

Este mes nos complace presentar a la poetisa y psicóloga peruana Kazuko Kikushima. Una vez más, la madre de mi pareja me ayudó a entender la belleza y profundidad de este poema, una conmovedora pieza que hace un llamado al recuerdo de un ser querido y las cosas que llamamos y soltamos en el laberinto de las relaciones complejas. ¡Disfruten!

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Kazuko Kikushima es psicóloga y comunicadora. Sus mayores referentes en la poesía son Jose Watanabe (Trujillo, Perú) y Gustavo Pereira (Punta de Piedras, Venezuela). En julio del 2017 publicó su primer poemario TATUAJES …

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Canciones

Este mes, nos complace presentar dos poemas en español de la poetisa peruana Doris Moromisato Miasato. Ella es ecologista, feminista y budista y estos dos poemas son hermosas canciones de homenaje, uno para su padre y otro para el famoso artista japonés Hokusai. De los recuerdos evocados a aquellos imaginados, su poesía se lee como una canción de lamento, inspiración y maravilla. Agradezco llevar conmigo estos poemas mientras comenzamos a dejar el verano por el otoño. También debo agradecer a Norma, la madre de mi pareja, que tiene como lengua materna el español y también es de Perú. Ella es …

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An Unstoppable Fluttering

Yonsei entrepreneur and writer Kelsey Kawana was introduced to me by kindred friend and artist Beau Sia, and I was honored to support them both in co-producing an upcoming short film, The Unreachable Star (more in Kelsey’s bio). It was such a delight to later come across her wonderful poetry and we’re excited to present a few pieces from her 2018 book, The Long Drive Home. The three pieces shared here give insight to her voice and what she is proclaiming to the world of herself, whispering to a former love, and witnessing from places of awe, love and …

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Gnawing

This month’s feature comes to us from Grand Rapids, Michigan, with selections from This Is How the Bone Sings, a poetry collection by Todd Kaneko. These pieces resonated at a gut level for me—they poke and prod, nudge and whack, muse and gnaw at our past through a present lens that is close, sometimes overwhelmingly close, to the ghosts, the land, the sentient cries. This beautiful writing points us toward Minidoka as much as it positions us firmly in the wonder of all places and people who have had to endure disappearance, silence, and reckoning. Enjoy...

— traci kato-kiriyama …

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Series Authors

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dekasegi Doris Moromisato Family family Jose Nakatsuhara Kazuko Kikushima Kelsey Kawana Okinawa peru Peru poems poet poetry poets W. Todd Kaneko