Limited Copies of ‘NNV: The Japanese American Family’ Available

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GARDENA — Sad, poignant, humorous, thoughtful, insightful, educational, informative.  These are words that describe the stories and articles within “Nanka Nikkei Voices: The Japanese American Family,” the fourth publication of the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California (JAHSSC).

NNV contributors Molly Mayumi Serizawa and Brandon Shindo during a reading last year at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The publication committee of JAHSSC has announced that 40 copies remain. Copies will be available at $20 at the March 2 health seminar co-sponsored by JAHSSC, Keiro Senior Healthcare Institute for Healthy Aging, and the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute at 1 p.m. in the JCI Hall, 1964 W. 162nd St., Gardena.

Included among the 56 contributors are: the late Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi, professor emerita of sociology at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center, who submitted a chapter from her book “Recovery and Hidden Injuries: Wartime Incarceration and Japanese American Lives”; the late Paul Chikahisa, MSW, LCSW, who co-wrote “The Japanese American Family: To What Degree Is the Japanese American Family ‘Japanese’?”; and Dr. Ford Kuramoto, who wrote “Excerpts: Dissertation on Shonien.”

Nisei and Sansei who shared their experiences and insight on Issei values include: Dorothy Shimizu Kaplan, “Kichinto Shinasai”; Yosh Nishimoto, “Mottainai: Rituals of Frugality, Humility and Gratitude in Japanese Culture”; Dorothy Yamashita, “Amae”; Grace Naoko Serizawa, “Lost Translations”;  Sets Asano, “Legacies of the Issei & Nisei”;  Bill Watanabe, “The Screen Door”; and George Wakiji, “My Family Values as a Nikkei in the Southland.”

Stories that either make you burst out crying or laughing include: Roy Sakamoto, “My Name Is Baka”; Naomi Otani, “Yoku Gambatte Ne!”; Valerie Matsumoto, “New Year’s Lessons”; Brian Niiya, “Earlier Generations” and “Fifteen Layers and Counting”; and Jim Matsuoka, “Stray Cats of Manzanar.”

NNV contributors Bill Watanabe and Roy Sakamoto during a reading last year at Orange County Buddhist Church. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The younger Sansei and Yonsei generations are well-represented for the first time in an NNV publication: Ariel Okamoto, “Flotsam, Jetsam, and Family Heirlooms: Treasures from Grandpa’s House”; Alex Isao Herbach, “From My Family to Yours: Happy ChrismaShogaNukkah”; Gwen Muranaka, “Tastes of the Season”; Nicole Akemi Arra, “Traditions”; Mishele Megumi Miyake, “Strawberry Fields Forever”; Mari Nakano, “Preserving Our Connections”; Brandon Shindo, “Grandfather’s Gift”; Glenn Suravech, “Thai-ing the JA Line”; Molly Mayumi Serizawa, “Aishiteru”; Janna Abo George, “Remember Who You Are”; and Samantha Masunaga, “Learning About My Heritage.”

Two poets, traci kato kiriyama and Tony Osumi, submitted their pieces, “salted hands” and “it is your fault” and “A Fearless Passing.” Also in the book, Tony and his wife Jenni Kuida’s “The Original 101 Ways to Tell You’re JA” – often copied without attribution.

And, many, many more…

A glossary of Japanese terms used in the stories plus additional common cultural terms is in the back of the book.

The topic of the March 2 seminar is “Japanese American Health Conditions: Where We Have Been, Where We Are, What You Can Do About Your Health,” with speaker Dr. Marjorie Kagawa-Singer, professor, UCLA School of Public Health and Department of Asian American Studies.

Those who plan to attend and would like to ensure a copy of the book for pick-up at the event are asked to contact Iku Kiriyama at (310) 326-0608 or [email protected] with your name and number of copies. Pay cash or check.

Mail orders should be sent at $26 per copy to JAHSSC, PO Box 3164, Torrance, CA 90510-3164. Check or money order payable to JAHSSC.

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