Discover Nikkei, a web-based project of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) focused on promoting connections and understanding among the global Japanese diaspora partners with Junior Chamber International (JCI) Brazil-Japan and Nikkei Australia for a free virtual program, “What is Nikkei Food?,” that will explore Nikkei food and the role that it plays in families and communities around the world on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. PST.

The program will feature a presentation by Shigeru Kojima. Gil Asakawa will moderate the program and discussions to explore cultural significance and how it brings people together. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in facilitated small-group discussions about the various topics around Nikkei food.

Gil Asakawa

The program will be offered via Zoom. Presentations will be in English with simultaneous translations available in Spanish and Portuguese. Small-group sessions will be led by facilitators in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In addition to the breakout sessions, the virtual rooms will remain open for an hour following the end of the program for further informal discussions or networking opportunities.

The program is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, go to

Asakawa is a journalist, editor, author and blogger who covers Japan, Japanese American and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture and social justice issues in blogs, articles and social media. He is a nationally-known speaker, panelist and expert on Japanese American and Asian American history and identity. He’s the author of “Being Japanese American” (Stone Bridge Press) and his next book, “Tabemasho! Let’s Eat!” (Stone Bridge Press), a history of Japanese food in America, will be published in 2022. His blog:

Shigeru Kojima

Kojima taught at Tokyo Gakugei University and helped establish the JICA Yokohama Japanese Overseas Migration Museum. He is a researcher (on call) at the Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences at Waseda University. Some of his publications include “Nikkei Community no Shorai to Matsuri” (The Future of Nikkei Community and Matsuri) in “Nanboku America no Nikkei Bunka” (Nikkei Culture in North and South America); “Nihonjin Imin no Rekishi kara Zainichi Nikkeijin wo Kangaeru — Brazil Ijyu 100 Shunen to Nikkei no Shosou” (Thinking About the Nikkei in Japan from the History of Japanese Immigrants – the 100th Anniversary of Immigration to Brazil and the Nikkei Lives). Kojima graduated from Sophia University and received a master’s degree in history from the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil.

JCI Brazil-Japan is a local São Paulo, Brazil chapter of Junior Chamber International (JCI), a nonprofit organization of young active citizens, ages 18 to 40, who are committed and involved in making an impact in their communities. JCI members are active citizens from all sectors of society who embrace new ideas, collaboration, and diversity, and are concerned about the future of our world.

Nikkei Australia promotes research, study, arts and cultural practices, and community information exchange about the Nikkei diaspora in Australia. Nikkei Australia was created in 2013 by a group of interested researchers who came together to facilitate the Civilian Internee Project. is a major online resource that brings together the voices and experiences of Nikkei (Japanese emigrants and their descendants), who have created communities throughout the world. The multilingual website — available in English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese — documents Nikkei history and culture and provides learning and networking tools for Nikkei around the world. At the same time, it seeks to explore the diverse and ever-changing meaning of the term “Nikkei.” The site’s rich multimedia content includes excerpts from life history interviews.

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