Multiracial & Multiethnic Special Issue: Introduction


In 2007, Hapa Issues Forum formally closed down. Founded in 1992 to provide a voice for multiracial Nikkei, the organization eventually expanded to serve a wider Asian American constituency, but languished into inactivity during its final years.

In 2008, the Nichi Bei Times published its first special edition dedicated to multiracial and multiethnic topics. Although the historic Japanese American newspaper had previously covered such topics, the publication of this special edition signaled a new, important step in recognizing a key segment of the community, and felt all the more vital in light of HIF’s exit from the scene. The Times went on to publish a second multiracial/multiethnic edition in the summer of 2009, but then closed down later that year, silencing another voice for multiracial Nikkei.

This year, the Nichi Bei Weekly has sought to continue the tradition of a multiracial/multiethnic special edition, albeit with limited resources and fewer staff members. Given these circumstances, this particular effort owes all the more to contributing writers who have risen to the challenge. Some past contributors to the Times’ special edition — Akemi Johnson, Angela Kimi Hickman and Eve Green — have come through once again. Newcomers Eri Tagaya, A.B. Wilkinson and Julia Bender have offered their hard work this time around. And Nichi Bei mainstay Ryan Tatsumoto has furthered his reputation as a dependable food scribe for all occasions. Each of these people deserves appreciation.

Finally, this newspaper would like to extend special gratitude to Cynthia Nakashima, who helped put together the “Paying recognition” piece below, but who actually belongs in the piece herself. She’s been there since the birth of HIF, and we thank her for her efforts now and throughout the years.

— Alec Yoshio MacDonald, Special Section Guest Editor

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