Nikkei Chicago

Documenting the untold stories of Nikkei (Japanese American) Chicago.

2014 Chicago Nikkei Community Annual Memorial Day Commemoration

By ERIK MATSUNAGA In 1935, the Japanese Mutual Aid Society of Chicago began purchasing burial plots at Montrose Cemetery on the city’s North Side. Due to discriminatory policies of the … Continue reading

Featured · 2 Comments

Dr. Joe Takehara and Chicago Aikido

Dr. Joe Takehara, D.D.S., a second generation Japanese American, has trained with the legends of aikido during his fifty-three years of studying the Japanese martial art. Meanwhile, he was a … Continue reading

Featured · 4 Comments

Adopting From Japan: One Chicago Couple’s Journey

By RYAN MASAAKI YOKOTA For most parents in the United States, their first encounter with their child occurs at birth in an American hospital setting. For Jonathon and Mari, however, … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

Dwight Okita: Poet, Playwright, Novelist

Published poet, playwright, and novelist Dwight Holden Okita was born in Chicago in 1958. He defines himself as Japanese American, gay, and Buddhist. His father was a veteran of the … Continue reading

February 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Forgotten Story of Japanese American Zoot Suiters

By ELLEN D. WU Sus Kaminaka was a zoot suiter: one of the many young people in 1940s America who embraced a distinctive, working-class urban aesthetic characterized by flamboyant fashions … Continue reading

January 25, 2014 · 12 Comments

“Gaman in Nisei”

A documentary featuring interviews with Nisei attendees of the Japanese American Service Committee’s “Out of the House Program” at the Christ Church of Chicago, this short piece explores issues related … Continue reading

January 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

2013 Obon Festival, Midwest Buddhist Temple

The Midwest Buddhist Temple was founded in 1944 at South Parkway Community Hall on South Parkway Boulevard (today’s Martin Luther King Drive) on Chicago’s South Side, by Japanese Americans recently … Continue reading

December 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.