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

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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David Kenji Chang

David lives in New York and writes about design, art, and culture for magazines.

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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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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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Monica Matsushima

Gardena, California-based, bedside nurse, mommy of three chickens, two kiddos, and one hyper terrier mix. Enjoys audiobooks, tabletop games, cooking, gardening, and pursuing sustainable living.

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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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Paul Matsushima

A family man, a community advocate, and an all around great guy.

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Philip Hirose

Born and raised Los Angeles. Dedicated to continuing a family legacy of community-based business, volunteerism, and activism.

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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

An LA-based writer with essays and journalism in Teen Vogue, NBC Asian America, Catapult, and more, Taylor's work focuses on celebrating and exploring Asian American communities and identities.

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Timothy Chuman

Second-year Communication Studies major at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Former intern at the Rafu Shimpo, co-founder of Cal Poly’s Nikkei Student Union, and always looking for ways to contribute to the Japanese American community.

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