Discover Nikkei with colorful kokeshi

JANM’s Discover Nikkei Project Needs Your Help!

I’ve worked on countless projects during my 27 years with the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), but my favorite is Discover Nikkei, JANM’s community-based web project. Through Discover Nikkei, I have not only learned about the experiences of Nikkei (Japanese emigrants and their descendants) all around the world but have met diverse individuals from the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Japan, and so many other places.

Discover Nikkei staff presented workshops and participated at the 2019 COPANI convention in San Francisco, CA, where we got to meet many Nikkei from around the world. Photo courtesy of Alberto Matsumoto.

Discover Nikkei brings these individuals, organizations, communities, and stories together in one place. It fascinates me to see how local customs, resources, and histories create unique adaptations to Japanese culture, traditions, food, and language, and how Nikkei in different parts of the world can be so different and yet so similar. It fascinates me to see that yearning to connect with our ancestors and broaden our sense of cultural identity.

The work we do with Discover Nikkei brings me immense satisfaction and pride. We are a very small team. Project manager Yoko Nishimura and I have invested so much of ourselves into this project. But through our partnerships, the work of our growing cadre of dedicated volunteers, and our global network, we have created something of real value and meaning. It is a lot of work, but it has definitely been a labor of love for us.

And yet, we’ve always known that there is the potential for so much more!

We’re so excited that Discover Nikkei has recently received new major funding from The Nippon Foundation to improve and further expand the website. This funding will give us the opportunity to take the project to the next level. The expansion project will include a major redesign of the site, as well as improving usability and access to content, increased translations of content, additional ways to participate, and new features that will facilitate user to user connections and communication. The goal is to make the website a platform for connecting, empowering, and providing access to the global network of Discover Nikkei.

As part of the planning process, we have developed a survey to gather feedback from current and potential community members. We would love to hear your thoughts on how we can make this project stronger.

Please fill out our survey at the link below (available until midnight on June 3, Pacific Time). Your responses will help us determine what features and enhancements to include and prioritize as we move forward. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese.


We are also seeking input from Nikkei organizations or any institution/group that has a significant Nikkei membership or focus. If you are part of one or know of one (or more!) that you think would benefit from Discover Nikkei’s network, please email with the contact information and we will send the link to the survey for organizations.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Take the Global Nikkei Survey!

Photo courtesy of Kimiko Medlock .

The Japanese American National Museum is collaborating with The Nippon Foundation on a large-scale research project trying to learn about how young people of Japanese ancestry (Nikkei) experience and express their Japanese heritage. The first of its kind, this project seeks to dig deep into Nikkei communities around the world and to explore their differences and similarities.

Are you a Nikkei age 18 to 35? We want to hear from you! Regardless of when your ancestors emigrated from Japan, their destination country, or where you now reside, we want you to help develop a picture of current Nikkei communities, needs or challenges they face now, and those that may arise soon. There is currently no other research investigating younger generation Nikkei communities on a global level.

The team leading this research includes Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks, who is Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, and Senior Research Associate Psychology Applied Research Center and Program Coordinator, Asian Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount University; and Dr. Lindsey Sasaki Kogasaka, Assistant Director of Study Abroad at Pomona College. Rooks’ research focuses on ethnic and multiracial identity, ethnic community development, and cultural competency in community health and wellness. Kogasaka specializes in cross-cultural exchange and training, international migration, and the Asian diaspora in Latin America.

The Nippon Foundation, which initiated this project and selected JANM as its partner, was established in 1962 as a nonprofit philanthropic organization, active in Japan and around the world. Its range of activities encompasses education, social welfare, public health, and other fields—carried out in more than 100 countries to date. The Nippon Foundation also reached out to Discover Nikkei, which has a global network, for its help in conducting the research. The results of this study will be published after the spring of 2020.

The survey takes just 10-15 minutes to complete. Although the target audience is Nikkei, including those with mixed ancestry, between the ages of 18–35, others are welcome to participate. Please share this opportunity with friends or family who may be interested. Hurry—the survey closes at midnight (PST) on February 28, 2019!

Take the survey by clicking here.

Arts & Culture in LA Survey

Thank you to everyone who came & supported Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism in Post-War Los Angeles by visiting the exhibition and attending the related public programs.

Drawing the Line was our participation in the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 project, a collaboration of more than fifty cultural institutions across Southern California, which came together for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world.

All of the partners in this ground-breaking collaboration have been asked to issue a survey to its members and supporters to close out the project. The survey will collect general responses on attitudes about arts and culture in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California and is a follow-up to one conducted prior to the project launch.

Could you help us again with this follow-up survey?

Please take this brief survey to help the Japanese American National Museum and other arts institutions across Southern California plan events and exhibitions.

The survey is anonymous and takes just a few minutes. Your responses will help us understand how to improve experiences for our visitors and foster collaboration among arts organizations.

Take me to the survey >>

Thank you for your help!

Baseball survey–earn a chance to win tickets to a game!

A grad student needs help with her research. She’s seeking Dodger fans to participate in an online survey and paid focus group. She’s been having problems getting enough Asian American representation in her study, so if you qualify, please help her out!

Hello. My name is Jen and I am looking for hometown Dodger fans (22 and up) who are willing to share their thoughts in a paid focus group. The goals of the focus group are to find out what qualities you think make professional athletes successful or unsuccessful in different roles within the sport of baseball and to find out how you describe and tell stories about these baseball players. You don’t need to be a superfan and know every single detail about the Dodgers, but you should be someone who follows the team more or less throughout most parts of the season.  (It is okay if you have more than one favorite team, as long as you also follow the Dodgers). You also need to be living in Los Angeles OR the L.A. metropolitan area.

If you are interested, fill out the form on the attached link. If you are eligible, you will be contacted to participate in one focus group sometime in August. The group will last 1-2 hours. You will compensated $20 cash for time/travel. Furthermore, each participant will be entered into a raffle to win their choice of $200 cash or Field Level seats to a home game in September.  This is a great chance to earn a little cash talking baseball!


Please email if you have any questions.

**I am an independent researcher interested in sports, sports media, and fan narratives. This research is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Dodgers**  This information is approved by Temple University for public display and is associate with project #13468


Help us with a survey!

This fall, the Japanese American National Museum is participating in Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a project initiated from grants from the Getty Foundation. Pacific Standard Time is a collaboration of more than fifty cultural institutions across Southern California, which are coming together for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world. Each institution will make its own contribution to this grand-scale story of artistic innovation and social change, told through a multitude of simultaneous exhibitions and programs.

The Museum will open its new exhibition, Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism in Pos-War L.A., with an opening event on Saturday, October 15, 2011 (more details to come!). Drawing the Line will feature works of art and design that give a sense of the complex role of cultural production in the creation of community in Japanese American Los Angeles.

All of the partners in this ground-breaking collaboration have been asked to issue a survey to its members and supporters in preparation for this project. The survey will collect general responses on attitudes about arts and culture in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

The questionnaire will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and your responses are confidential. The survey closes September 1st. Thank you!

Take the survey online >>

Discover Nikkei Survey

Hello beautiful people!

My name is Maya Kochiyama and I am the new Discover Nikkei intern this summer at the Japanese American National Museum through the Nikkei Community Internship program.  I am entering my junior year at UC Berkeley as an Integrative Biology major.

As part of the Discover Nikkei staff, I would cordially like to invite you to take our Discover Nikkei Survey!

We are conducting this survey in hopes of learning more about the diverse array of Nikkei communities around the world.  The results from this survey will be analyzed and presented at the XVI COPANI (Conventions of the Association of Pan American Nikkei) Discover Nikkei Conference in Cancun, Mexico in September.

It’s a quick and easy 10-minute survey that may even get you thinking about your own cultural identity.

Here are the links to check it out!


If you have any questions, you can email or contact me at

The last day to submit the survey is July 25th!

Thanks so much!  We greatly appreciate your support! 🙂