Japanese Diaspora

The Japanese diaspora, known as Nikkei, refers to Japanese immigrants who have moved abroad permanently and their descendants following them. This series highlights the diverse cultures and communities that broadens the boundaries of what it means to be Japanese.

Cultural Footprint Japanese Diaspora

Crafting Connections: Nordic design and Japanese Folk Art Movement

A limited edition book turi showcasing the work of Turi Gramstad Oliver, a prominent figure in Nordic design, was released. The book includes works inspired by Japanese artists, who led the Mingei movement, and Japanese culture. Turi Gramstad Oliver is a prominent Norwegian artist who has been active since the mid-20th century. Last summer in Norway, a design book Turi was released, chronicling Turi’s lifetime of creative work. The book includes over 500 illustrations and photographs, along with archival images, anecdotes, and insights into her personal life shared with fellow creative collaborators. It was written by Torunn Larsen, a writer and art historian. Why the World Can’t Have Enough of Norwegian Product

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Japanese Diaspora Life Style

Addressing Life’s Challenges Through Norwegian Picture Books

Last year’s Nobel Prize in Literature went to a Norwegian playwright, sparking interest in Norwegian books in Japan. Join us in exploring Norwegian picture books with translator Junko Aoki and writer Gro Dahle. The world of Norwegian picture books may be full of surprises for Japanese people as they vividly depict all kinds of social issues, including gender-related matters and domestic violence. Among them, The Angry Man captures domestic violence by parents from a child’s perspective. In Aquarium, it highlights the presence of young carers, making their existence known to society even before it gained widespread recognition. In Aquarium, the book portrays the daily life of a young girl whose mother is a goldfish

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Japanese Diaspora

South Korean Fermentation: Delightfully Delicious Contrast from Japanese Cuisine

As a member of the Korean diaspora community, Kim Suehyang researches Korean food culture and explores the fascinating history of fermented foods on the Korean peninsula through her lens. She encountered the food culture carefully passed down through generations, rooted in the wisdom of the Korean people. Korean dramas and movies often feature scenes of meals, and the lively atmosphere is captivating. The staples of Korean cuisine include bibimbap, buchimgae (pancakes), samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly), cold noodles, tteokbokki (simmered rice cake), and hotteok (sweet pancakes). Most people who travel to South Korea can find the food scene so enchanting that they are eager to indulge in gourmet dishes day and

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Japanese Diaspora Life Style Table For One

Uncovering the Thriving Food Culture in South Korean Society

Korean dramas and movies, which have gained popularity globally, often feature scenes of meals, which stimulate the viewers’ appetite. If you search online for “Korean drama meals,” you can easily find recipes to recreate meals that have appeared in popular dramas. Many books have been published on this subject. We also see that people are flocking to Koreatowns around the world and paying a visit to South Korea in search of authentic gourmet meals. Why do Korean dramas and movies often feature dining scenes? We can find part of the answer in 『続・韓国カルチャー 描かれた「歴史」と社会の変化』written by Junko Ito. Her book examines social changes through entertainment in South Korea and provides detailed explanations

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Cultural Footprint Japanese Diaspora Life Style

South Korean Literature Brings Hope & Empowerment: K-book Store in Tokyo Chekccori

South Korean literature is increasingly popular amid the fourth wave of the Hallyu boom. Kim Seung-bok, who founded Cuon, a publishing company specializing in South Korean content, possesses a wide range of literary works. South Korea is considered both geographically the closest and yet one of the most distant countries from Japan due to its historical conflicts and divergent political views. On the other hand, there are many Japanese who enjoy visiting the country on vacation.  The younger Japanese generation is drawn to the Korean lifestyles and values through their exposure to K-pop, K-dramas, and movies. It is not surprising to encounter Japanese students, who diligently follow South Korean culture

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Japanese Diaspora

Your Story is Our Story: Uncovering the Little-known History of Japanese Americans

Portland, Oregon, once had a Japantown, where many Nikkei lived. We trace the past and present of Japanese Americans with Jana Iwasaki, a board member of the Japanese American Museum of Oregon. There are two places in Portland with deep ties to Japan. One is the Japanese American Museum of Oregon (JAMO), formerly known as the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, which has served as a community center and a place to educate and explore the Japanese American experience and its role in Oregon’s multicultural community. Visitors can find archival materials about Japantown as well as exhibits about World War II American concentration camps for people of Japanese descent.  The other

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Japanese Diaspora Life Style

Zen Meditation in a Trailblazing Mobile Teahouse

When you pursue a lifestyle inspired by Zen—live like a floating cloud without obsessing over anything, it may create an opportunity to build a positive society that shares happiness universally. Joe Jun Liao, an entrepreneur originally from Hong Kong, is building a network to improve personal wellness and the common good in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan. While studying architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, he started to think about how designing spaces to create invaluable experiences could lead to a mindful society and help solve social problems. After working as a software engineer in California, he founded Hong Kong’s first capsule hotel, SLEEEP, with his childhood friend and

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Japanese Diaspora Life Style

Fermented Foods Bring a Wealth of Health to the U.S.

Fermented foods have been gaining popularity in the United States for some time now. In 2003, Sandor Ellix Katz, a leader in the fermentation movement and a self-described fermentation geek, published his first book on fermented foods, Basic Fermentation. Since then, he has written numerous books ranging from adventures in the world’s fermented food cultures to advanced, specialized cookbooks, one of which has been translated into Japanese: Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys: Recipes, Techniques, and Traditions from around the World. If one were to trace the history of fermented foods in the U.S., one would find The Book of Tofu at the beginning. Co-authors Akiko Aoyagi and her American husband William Shurtleff began their research

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Cultural Footprint Japanese Diaspora

Looking Back to the Past: Re-examining Seattle’s Once Vibrant Japantown

Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) was once home to the largest Japantown in North America and remains to be one of the most historically significant places for Japanese Americans. In the 1880s, the first wave of Japanese laborers arrived in the Northwestern United States and undertook hard labor to build railroads, sawmills, and farms. Amid the prewar global population growth, by 1930, 8,500 Japanese Americans were living in what is known as the CID today. The district was home to Japanese language schools, newspaper offices, religious institutions, and dojos, which represented Japanese culture and became known as Japantown. The streets were filled with lodgings, restaurants, and stores run by Japanese American

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Japanese Diaspora Life Style

Your Path to Happiness, Ikigai is the Way

Based on a philosophy of emotional independence and overcoming reliance on others, “solo activities” can serve as the starting point for cultivating a whole new you. Our Me Time (solo activities) rules for finding happiness on our own that are taking the West by storm. In Japan drinking alone, traveling alone, eating alone has been a growing awareness and understanding which refer to actions and experiences where the individual values going at their own pace and their own thoughts. Based on a philosophy of emotional independence and overcoming reliance on others, these are gaining widespread acceptance as the starting point for cultivating a whole new you, rather than being seen

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