The Power of Irei

Digging up Ways to Honor Her Ancestors—Kyoko Oda and Ireichō


Sometimes it takes a soft-spoken woman like Kyoko Oda to use her charm to make sure the lives of 125,284 incarcerated Japanese American are not forgotten. Someone gentle on the outside but no less mighty on the inside as she works in multiple capacities calling attention to the lives forever …

The Power of Irei

Ireichō, Kintsugi, and the Transformation of Karma: A Conversation with Project Founder Duncan Ryuken Williams


To craft into a sacred book listing the names of 125,284 people of Japanese ancestry incarcerated at 75 World War II detention sites, it took inspired thought and meticulous research from its brilliant creative team. Led by Buddhist priest Duncan Ryuken Williams of the University of Southern California Shinso Ito Center …

Moving Farewell to Beloved Heart Mountain Farmer


As far as the eye could see along Road 90 where it meets Lane 9, stretching along the vast dusty farmland of Powell, Wyoming, and extending for miles in the shadow of Heart Mountain, 60 tractors paraded by the homestead farm that Tak Ogawa tended and nurtured for more than …

Behind the Art of Miné Okubo


How appropriate that on the 75th Anniversary of Miné Okubo’s pioneering graphic memoir, Citizen 13660, hailed for its groundbreaking account of the WWII incarceration by a Nisei held in camp, the Japanese American National Museum would present an exhibition drawn from its own impressive collection of Okubo masterworks. When the …

The Radicalization of a Poet and a Pastor: Diane C. Fujino on Nisei Radicals Mitsuye Yamada and S. Michael Yasutake


Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Giving Thanks During COVID


What began last March as a few months of social distancing has now turned into the prospect of long-term isolation as COVID19 increases at a staggering rate. As a proud member of the senior population considered “high risk,” I can personally attest to the stresses and strains of home confinement.

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

EO9066 vs. COVID-19


I’ve been struggling with what more to say about the pandemic now known as the worst disaster of our lifetimes. I don’t ever remember feeling this fearful and uncertain about the future, particularly knowing as infection and death statistics grow with steady predictability, this highly contagious virus will most certainly …

Tule Lake History Passed on from Father to Son: Iwao and Hiroshi Shimizu


Tule Lake Committee chair Hiroshi Shimizu attended his first Tule Lake Pilgrimage in 1994, clutching a folder of papers written in Japanese. He had seen an article announcing the pilgrimage in the Hokubei Mainichi, the former Northern California daily newspaper that his father, Iwao, not only helped to start but …

Cultural Merging and Identity: A Fourth-Generation Okinawan Japanese Peruvian American Speaks Out


Scrumptiously Inventive Mochi In Fresno


I first learned about Fresno’s landmark mochi shop, Kogetsu-do, 16 years ago while doing research for the Japanese American National Museum’s Annual Dinner Gala. The event’s theme, “Honoring the Family,” paid tribute to more than 70 businesses run by families for three generations, many of them starting out as mom-and-pop …

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I discovered my Nikkei roots very late in life, and for that reason I have been referred to as a born-again Sansei by some of my sarcastic friends. I used to duck when I saw large groups of JA students while I was at UCLA. But long after I graduated college, I started a Los Angeles chapter of the Sansei Legacy Project, a group that was founded to foster our Sansei-ness. It worked! I now love spending my time writing and making films about what it means to be Japanese American.


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