How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Multilingual Nikkei site posts quake related updates, much more

Photo by Sheep"R"Us/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Japanese Buddhist temple in São Paolo, Brazil, December 2008

The term nikkei doesn't just refer to the Tokyo stock market index, but to Japanese immigrants and their descendants, the Japanese diaspora that has fanned out around the world as the result of migration. And there is a website in English, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese - yes, Spanish and Portuguese - that has been keeping that diaspora abreast of post-earthquake developments in Japan, along with nikkei stories from around the world.

Discover Nikkei is a project of Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, intended to connect people of Japanese descent around the globe. In addition to its features, among them a piece on Japanese Cubans and photos of a Brazilian community in Japan, the site has been posting a regular stream of Twitter updates and retweets (in English) on its front page with news related to the quake aftermath and the response abroad, including relief efforts by Japanese American groups spanning the United States from California to Minnesota.

A few of the updates today:

Los Angeles: RT @EWPlayers: Tonight: Service for Japan Quake Victims at JACCC Plaza http://wp.me/phR6v-5a 18 minutes from TweetDeck

San Francisco: RT @hyphenmagazine: Lyrics Born to perform at Som Bar tonight to fundraise for Japan relief efforts http://fb.me/CrSpZ31U

Spam (musubi?) for Japan! RT @MNJAPAN: Austin MN based Hormel pledges donations, food to Japan http://bit.ly/e5azBZ @hormelfoods 12 minutes from TweetDeck

interesting article: RT @teddykawakami: U.S. donations not rushing to #Japan http://usat.ly/eX490M 54 minutes from TweetDeck

San Jose: Vigil for Victims of the Tsunami in Japan tonite (3/17) in front of the San Jose Buddhist Temple http://bit.ly/gFIC3O


The stream of updates comes from disparate places, but then the Japanese diaspora is a far-flung one, with migrants over the last century-plus putting down roots from Los Angeles to Peru (hence the Spanish) and Brazil (the Portuguese). The features can be read in all four languages, providing nikkei and others a fascinating way to get a sense of all the places they call home.
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