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Yo! Magazine

The story behind the stories...

Our (Short) History

As the world moved into self-quarantine, organizations, families, and individuals began to increasingly feel the side-effects of economic downturn and social isolation. Aspiring to help a community business and facilitate dialogue between individuals and families, Yo! Magazine started publishing articles, presenting recipes, and developing activities.

More specifically:

We began with a series of activity workbooks that were published for children, families, and a Little Tokyo business that was developing new and innovative ways to connect with a quarantined customer base. Realizing there was an opportunity for collaboration around the Japanese holiday, Children's Day, a discussion was hatched that grew far beyond the original scope. Four hours later, the first issue of Yo! Magazine was born.

Our Mission

Yo! Magazine provides a platform to present and amplify our community's voices.

Through the creators we present and the insights and questions they share, we seek to spur reflection, conversation, and action to contribute to our community's evolution.

The Editorial Team

Andrew Takahashi

Andrew Takahashi is a 30-year-old closet otaku who loves biking, eating, and playing video games. In his spare time, he works as an environmental engineer. CHEEHOOO.

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Craig Ishii

Origin story at Orange County Buddhist Church. Founder of Kizuna. Cultural enthusiast. Interested in exploring the ins and outs of our community so we can discover our past and pave our future.

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Hiro Edeza

Hiro Edeza received a bachelor's degree in history with minors in Asian American studies and museum studies at San Francisco State University. After graduating, Hiro moved to the countryside of Japan to teach English and connect with his extended family in Kyushu. While across the Pacific, he does his best to remain active within the Japanese American community and looks forward to returning to it soon.

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Justin Kawaguchi

Justin (he/him) is a Los Angeles-based Trojan alum currently navigating grad school, adulthood (yikes), and finding ways to stay connected with cultural roots. You can often find him en route to the next best street taco stand or in Little Tokyo. (Fight On!)

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Kayla Tanaka

A yonsei/shin-nisei who discovered her appreciation and passion for the JA community during her time in college. Full-time pursuer of a career in the legal field; part-time snowboard and beach-going enthusiast based in Torrance, CA.

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Lisa Aihara

Lisa Aihara is a visual artist and writer based in Los Angeles. A mom of two, Lisa draws (pun intended) inspiration from her own life, her sense of humor, playful art style, and her knack for storytelling to create an emotional connection. Find her online at www.lisaaihara.com.

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Mackenzie Walker

Maker, Baker, Plant Propagator. Washington state raised Yonsei based in DC.

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Megan Nagasaki

Has a soft spot for community and is fascinated by culture, connection, and authentic storytelling. Marketing professional and social media enthusiast based in Los Angeles.

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Michelle Hirano

Born and raised in Gardena, CA, Michelle has a passion for education, food, social deduction games, and dogs.

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Nicole Oshima

Nicole (she/her) is a yonsei/gosei that is passionate about community building, hair dye, and pop culture. Based in Los Angeles, with her heart in Little Tokyo.

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Nicole Sato

Shin-Nisei born and raised in Torrance, trying to find the perfect medium of being Japanese and JA. Constantly on the quest for the best boba and french fries.

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Stephanie Nitahara

Chicago yonsei turned Los Angeles nonprofit executive with a passion for building the Nikkei community nationwide. Avid advocate for social justice and mental wellness to undo systems of oppression. Mother to a senior pomchi, sourdough starter, and the occasional succulent.

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Taylor Weik

Taylor is an LA-based writer with essays and journalism in Teen Vogue, NBC Asian America, and more. She’s passionate about celebrating and sharing Asian American stories in all creative mediums, and is currently developing a game about the U.S. Japantowns called J-Town: A Visual Novel.

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