Martha Nakagawa (center) with Karen Umemoto (left) of UCLA Asian American Studies and Irene Kuromiya, wife of wartime resister Yosh Kuromiya, at the 2018 JANM Gala. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) mourns the passing of Martha Nakagawa, an activist, journalist, writer, and researcher who was dedicated to unearthing groundbreaking stories in the Nikkei community.

A native of Gardena, she earned her BA in Asian studies and minor in Japanese from Stanford University. For over 30 years she worked for the Pacific Citizen, Rafu Shimpo, and Asian Week, and contributed to the Hawai‘i Herald, Hokubei Mainichi, Nichi Bei Times, Nichi Bei Weekly, and Nikkei West.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 11 a.m. at Fukui Mortuary in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood.

“Martha was a courageous journalist who made a significant contribution in many areas, including adding to the canon of understanding and interpreting Japanese American history, documenting community voices of resistance, and raising awareness about community activities, issues, and news. Her loss reverberates throughout the community and we will miss her greatly,” said Ann Burroughs, president and CEO of JANM.

Editor’s note: Martha Nakagawa’s memorial service will be livestreamed on the Nichi Bei Foundation YouTube channel on Sunday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m.:

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