Mimi Okabe

Mimi Okabe was born in Miyagi but immigrated to Canada with her family when she was 11-months-old. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta where she currently teaches. Her research interests in Nikkei identity and culture were inspired by having co-founded Japanese for Nikkei (JFN) with her osananajimi, Sachi. In JFN’s first year of business, we have served members of the global Nikkei community from Canada and the United States, Sweden, Japan, and Australia! We look forward to growing our community! Learn more about Japanese for Nikkei at www.japanesefornikkei.com!

Updated September 2021

food en ja es pt

What is Nikkei Food? A Conversation with Chef Ron Elmaleh

What does Japanese or Nikkei food in Canada look like? Taste like? Who better to ask than the executive chef and owner of Kobachi Japanese Cuisine, Ron Elmaleh. Ron is a Japanese Moroccan who was born in Israel and grew up in Japan. He went to school in the United States and currently resides in Alberta, Canada. Ron’s diverse cultural and culinary experience provides a unique perspective on how we can understand and appreciate Nikkei food, but before we delve into the topic, first, here is a little about his restaurant. Nestled in the quiet town of Sherwood Park in Alberta, Canada, a…

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culture en

Writing Wrongs in the Past and Present: How Director Sherri Kajiwara is Preserving Nikkei Voices in Canada - Part 2

Writing Wrongs: Intro to Protest Letters/Paroles perdues : introduction aux lettres de protestation.© Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, 2021. Read Part 1 >> I really enjoyed the process of reading through Writing Wrongs. The four “chapters” highlighted different historical moments and the highs and lows for Japanese immigrants. I found the juxtaposition of images from the past and present really interesting and as a constant reminder of the legacy of the Nikkei people in Canada. Which one of the chapters resonates with you the most? Is there a particula…

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culture en

Writing Wrongs in the Past and Present: How Director Sherri Kajiwara is Preserving Nikkei Voices in Canada - Part 1

Back in November, I had the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Sherri Kajiwara, the Director and Curator of Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (NNMCC) in Burnaby, Canada, who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at her most recent online exhibit, Writing Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Protest Letters of the 1940s. Available in both English and French, Writing Wrongs invites you to explore aspects of Canadian history that are not always taught in school. From stories of hope to endurance, the online exhibit features four main channels for you to navigate the history of Japanese …

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identity en

Nikkei Chronicles #10—Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities

Yoru no kangaegoto | Night Thoughts

“Jyā mata raishū ne!”  “See you later!” The Zoom call ends, and I finally head to bed. Another long day has passed for the both of us. Meetings, deadlines, teaching. Otsukare sama!  As I lie on my bed, staring into the dark abyss above, I reflect on how the day went, and the things I need to prepare for tomorrow. How did we get here? By here, I mean co-founding Japanese for Nikkei and trying to advocate the importance of creating Nikkei spaces for language learners to thrive. For so long, I’ve been trying to run in the opposite direction of having …

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