Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Itadakimasu! Nikkei food stories

For many Nikkei around the world, food is often the strongest and most lasting connection they have with their culture. Across generations, language and traditions are often lost, but their connections to food remain.

Itadakimasu! A Taste of Nikkei CultureThe Museum’s Discover Nikkei website has launched a project to collect and share stories about Nikkei food culture and its impact on identity and communities. We want to collect together as many diverse stories from around the world as we can, so we invite you to submit personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genre.

All stories submitted for our Itadakimasu! that meet the guidelines will be published on Discover Nikkei as part of this series. In addition, our Editorial Committee will select their favorite articles per language to be featured and translated into our site languages! Some of the submitted stories will be selected to be published in various Nikkei newspapers and partnering organization newsletters around the world (including The Rafu Shimpo in Los Angeles, Peru Shimpo in Lima, and Nikkeiy Shimbun in São Paulo, Brazil) after the conclusion of the project.

We’ve already published 6 Itadakimasu stories online, and have received several more that we’ll be posting soon. They range from holiday food traditions to sushi therapy. The most recent story features 100th/442nd veterans, Jake Shimabukuro, and of course, food!

The deadline to submit stories to be included in Itadakimasu! is September 30, 2012 at 6pm (PST). That’s just 3 months away from today!

Please join us and share your favorite food stories on Discover Nikkei!

See submission guidelines & check out the stories published so far:

Jake Shimabukuro with 100th & 442nd veterans from Jayne Hirata's story, "Health, Happiness, and Bear Hanakuso with the Wine Gang"


Giant tempura from Silvia Lumy Akioka's story, "My gastronomic habits in Brazil" (Portuguese & English)
From Jean Oda Moy's story, "Sushi Therapy" -- a touching story about the power of food memory
Ben Arikawa's mother on their Fresno family farm. From his story, "Cooking Traditions with Mom"
From Keiko Fukuda's story, 我が家の定番、県民食の鶏料理 (Japanese only)
Plastic kagami mochi and sparklers from Laurie Iwami's "Soba, Firecrackers and Home"


Vicky Murakami-Tsuda

Communications Production Manager at the Japanese American National Museum. I coordinate printed publications, manage web-based projects, and lots of other stuff. I also write an occasional column for our project.

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