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Japanese American Identity

Sportsball for Dummies: A Guide to Surviving a Baseball Game

Issue:
July 11, 2020

I’m here to guide you through the unbearable and excruciating… I mean, FUN AND ACTION-PACKED opportunity of being dragged…BROUGHT to a bases of ball game.

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5 Things I Learned at Yo! Camp (as an Adult)

Issue:
August 16, 2022

When you think of an overnight summer camp, you think of all the benefits it will have for the campers. But instructors and staff like myself learned a lot, too.

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Outside the Bubble: A Road Trip Across the U.S.

Issue:
August 16, 2022

For a long time, I have had this dream of going on a cross country roadtrip constantly pestering me.

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Yo! Camp: Make Magic, Every Day

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Our inaugural year of Yo! Camp was something magical. Let's explore where that magic comes from.

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My JA Community: A SoCal Transplant in NorCal's Summer

Issue:
October 21, 2020

I moved to San Jose three years ago; this is my story of experiencing community in both NorCal and SoCal.

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Obon Will Always Be Obon

Issue:
June 15, 2022

Obon, like many Japanese American cultural practices, exists in the intersections of race and religion. Although Obon is a more widely accepted cultural-religious practice, this was not always the case.

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Summer Camp - Parents, Your Questions Answered

Issue:
May 20, 2020

When it comes to summer camps and programs, parents and kids often underestimate the importance and value of these opportunities. Let's explore the deep value of the summer camp experience.

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Did Tom Cruise Teach Us How to Be “Japanese?”

Issue:
December 18, 2021

There are three movies/TV shows I watch annually: The Last Samurai, Lost In Translation, and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (specifically season 8, episode 6 entitled “Japan with Masa”).

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Flying Free: Quitting your Job

Issue:
June 28, 2020

Sharing stories of personal peace... after leaving the job.

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Re-engineering the Engineering Business

Issue:
April 15, 2022

We strive to bring our whole self to work, so why do some of us feel the need to hide our culture? When preparing to enter the workforce, we tend to focus on the technical aspect and aptitude needed to perform and succeed, but often forget to prepare ourselves for the difference in culture and how that defines work expectations.

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Dear Ji-Chan

Issue:
January 18, 2022

Thank you Ji-chan for teaching me and exposing me to Japanese art forms. Your efforts to teach me about my Japanese culture have not gone unnoticed.

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The Evolution of Collegiate Taiko

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Collegiate taiko has had a prolific expansion over the last couple of decades. Let's explore how it's grown and where it still needs to go.

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Cultural Fusion: A Mother & Son Explore New Paths Through the Art of Taiko

Issue:
March 15, 2022

It is our hope that the taiko community never loses sight of its roots as it works toward an inclusive and collaborative future that celebrates individual uniqueness and cultural diversity.

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Going Bananas During Quaran-bean: My 6-Day Enforced Quarantine in Japan

Issue:
March 9, 2022

With the sudden surge of covid over winter break, Japan has completely shut down their borders to foreigners, and made it very difficult for Japan passport holders to enter Japan. Here's my story.

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A Friend of a Friend

Issue:
January 18, 2022

Through a friend of a friend. Isn't that how most people meet their significant others?

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Hello, from the Middle

Issue:
June 28, 2020

A little reflection on the beginning of middle age and self love

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We Have to Talk About Queer Love in the JA Community

Issue:
July 26, 2020

February in the JA community is filled by two major holidays: Day of Remembrance and Valentine’s Day. Let's honor both by re-evaluating how we look at gender, pronouns, love, and identity with our youth.

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Fierce Vulnerability with Gia Gunn

Issue:
June 28, 2020

Gia Gunn chats about her journey from dancing Nihon-buyo as a child to RuPaul's Drag Race to self discovery and activism.

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Kabocha Daruma Crochet Pattern

Issue:
October 15, 2021

Ready for a craft? Kawaii, not kowai! Wish for lots of tricks (or treats!) this Halloween with this festive Kabocha Daruma.

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Roll for Initiative! Let's talk Id(&d)entity

Issue:
June 28, 2020

Dungeons & Dragons is back and its players are more diverse than ever. In this article we explore how Japanese American players navigate the fantasy world, D&D's problematic past, and what they've learned about themselves along the way.

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Expectations & Reality for Legacy Family Businesses in the JA Community

Issue:
May 20, 2020

When it comes to family-owned businesses in the Japanese American community, expectations are high. Here's what that pressure is like for the next generation.

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For You/Me/Us Page: Identity Building Through TikTok

Issue:
June 13, 2020

How is the Nikkei community represented on TikTok, and how will digital identity- and community-building affect our current generation?

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Speak Your Truth

Issue:
May 1, 2020

Being Japanese American, I grew up with the expectations of not being a “burden” to other people, and living in the pandemic has sometimes felt like treading in deep waters without rest. 

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Allez Allez Allez!

Issue:
June 15, 2021

Whether you learned to ride yesterday or have been riding for decades, own a beach cruiser, BMX, fixed gear, road or recumbent bike, are 10 or 60, I hope to inspire you to get out and ride.

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My Journey to Minidoka

Issue:
June 15, 2021

Park Ranger Kurt Ikeda shares his love of national parks and the legacy he carries on at Minidoka as a Japanese American.

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Sea You Underwater!

Issue:
June 15, 2021

As COVID shut down businesses and prevented us from laying out at the beach, I turned to spearfishing in Hawaii.

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Changing the Tides on Mental Health

Issue:
May 9, 2021

Learn more about the Changing Tides (CT) Crew, which consists of 6-8 AAPI young adults who strive to destigmatize mental health and create safe and accessible spaces for the community.

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My Fantastic Voyage into the World of Dance Music

Issue:
March 5, 2021

The title says it all. Plus, I included a little mix that I think you'll enjoy.

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An Ode to Hair

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Hey, come and check out this bowl cut.

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How Asian Beauty Helped Me Normalize Self-Care as a Man

Issue:
January 30, 2021

It took me a long time to accept myself. Asian beauty standards for men in K-drams and K-pop groups gave me comfort.

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Hearing (And Sharing) Our Grandparents' Stories

Issue:
June 11, 2020

Deep down, we know it's important to make an effort to hear our grandparents' stories, but starting those conversations can sometimes be challenging. Here's another reminder that it's definitely worth trying.

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Chasing the Japanese Whaling Fleet as a Japanese American

Issue:
September 25, 2020

My experience chasing the Japanese whaling fleet as a Japanese American ocean activist led me to realize that we can't approach conservation issues without also considering the historical, racial, and geopolitical context that comes along with them.

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Finding Home at School

Issue:
May 23, 2020

Enjoying school can be hard when you feel like you don't belong. There are many factors that impact how much an individual enjoys school, but one that looms large is the demographics of the school.

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Infographic - Are the Kids (Going to Be) Alright?

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Automated employment is looming, human education is in danger. This infographic explores how we can develop critical "human" competencies for the future success of our kids.

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What is your JA Personality Type?

Issue:
August 22, 2020

Are you Lakers or Clippers, Sansei Dad or Gen Z? At obon, are you an eater or a dancer? Take the quiz, share the quiz, have a good laugh!

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Are the Kids (Going to Be) Alright?

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Employment, socializing, and life itself is evolving at an exponential rate... education is not. What do our kids need to truly be prepared for this rapidly changing reality?

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Identity Crises for the Gold

Issue:
July 11, 2020

Though deciding which team to cheer for during the Olympics may seem like a no-brainer to some, it can be more complex if your family is tied to multiple countries. One mixed-race writer shares his story.

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Creating a Sense of Community in Idaho

Issue:
May 1, 2020

When you don't fit in with the majority's culture, it is difficult to find your voice. Learn how one person is rooting themselves back to Idaho and creating a sense of community.

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Diaspora: An Infographic

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Where exactly is the Japanese diaspora? Check out our visual depiction of where the Nikkei community has settled around the world.

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A Space for Ourselves: Thoughts from a Black Yonsei

Issue:
July 26, 2020

What is it to be a Black Japanese American? What should I tell you? What should you know? 

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Nikkei Diaspora: A Photo Essay

Issue:
June 14, 2020

A collection of photos capturing family, friendship, cultural preservation, isolation, and the Japanese diaspora.

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Normalizing the term "Nikkei"

Issue:
May 23, 2020

As Nikkei Japanese Americans, some of us are used to calling ourselves "JAs." However, the term may unintentionally divide our community, posing the question of if we should begin to normalize the term "Nikkei" instead.

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The Christian Conundrum of Obon

Issue:
May 23, 2020

The Buddhist origins of obon festivals pose a predicament for some Christians, noted as being in conflict with their religious beliefs, while others view them simply as a cultural event to celebrate Japanese American heritage.

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The Rise of the Mon Tattoo Trend: A Q&A with Japanese American Tattoo Artist Jun Osaki

Issue:
May 3, 2020

More young Japanese Americans are getting their family mon, or crest, tattooed on their bodies today. In a Q&A with Portland-based artist Jun Osaki, we learn more about how tattoos can connect people to their culture.

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