Stories, essays, and vignettes that explore meanings and origins behind Nikkei names are sought by Discover Nikkei project of Japanese American National Museum

LOS ANGELES, CA – Discover Nikkei, a web-based project of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) that promotes connections and understanding among the global Japanese diaspora, announces the 13th edition of its Nikkei Chronicles special series, an annual, themed open call for writings.

This year’s theme, Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?, calls for stories, essays, and vignettes that explore the meanings and origins behind Nikkei names. Submissions are accepted until Thursday, October 31, 2024, at 6 p.m. PDT. Those that meet the guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the Nikkei Names 2 series.

Submissions are also eligible for selection as the Nima-kai community favorite. Nima are members of the Discover Nikkei online community called Nima-kai. “Nima” stems from the combination of Nikkei and “nakama” which is Japanese for “colleagues,” “fellows,” or “circle.” Writers are encouraged to submit their work early so that readers can vote for their favorites by logging in and giving it a “star.”

Four additional stories in English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese will be selected by the editorial committee. The five favorite stories will be announced in December 2024.

This year’s editorial committee features Kristen Nemoto Jay (English), Eijiro Ozaki (Japanese), Monica Kogiso (Spanish), and Liana Nakamura (Portuguese).

Jay was the former editor of The Hawai‘i Herald. Her late grandfather, Wilbert Sanderson Holck, was a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who helped create the sister-city relationship between Bruyeres, France and Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Ozaki is a Japanese actor and the author of 『思いを現実にする力』 (The Power to Turn Thoughts into Reality) and the mail magazine 『夢をつかむプロセス』 (The Process of Seizing Dreams).

Kogiso is an Argentine Nisei and producer for Japanese media who has translated literature and children’s stories by Japanese authors.

Nakamura is the author of the book amarela-manga: a Japanese-Poetic Anthology and a librarian specialist in diversity and inclusion.

All submissions must be sent by email and formatted using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Submissions must include a short author biography, a headshot, and at least one image to accompany the piece.

Multiple submissions and submissions written by multiple authors are welcome. For more information, please visit

Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi? is presented in partnership with Nikkei Australia, The Rafu Shimpo, Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance in Bunkyo, and the Peruvian Japanese Association. The logo was designed by Jay Horinouchi.

About Discover Nikkei 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, first-person stories and essays, journalistic profiles, research papers, opinion pieces, short fiction, and listings for events worldwide.

After 19 years, Discover Nikkei has published articles by over 1,380 writers worldwide and presented excerpts from nearly 200 video life history interviews.

The content currently represents 15 countries, and it continues to grow. Discover Nikkei is working on a major website redesign, along with new features and expanded functionality. Many major changes have already begun to be launched with many more rolling out over the next year.

About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.

Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture.

Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite while traveling 17 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

JANM is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday–Sunday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and on Thursday from 12 p.m.–8 p.m. JANM is free every third Thursday of the month. On all other Thursdays, JANM is free from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit or follow us on social media @jamuseum.