Finding Your Nikkei Roots

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: LGBTQ+ genealogy – Be proud of your ancestors

“All genealogists strive to reconstruct family histories or achieve genealogical goals that reflect historical reality as closely as possible.1” We gather data, evaluate and analyze information, and often, we tell a story. We try to avoid bias, prejudice and presentism. Identifying LGBTQ+2 ancestors and telling their stories is no different from sharing the information of […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Have Faith: The role of religion in JA genealogy

“Religion is the service and worship of God or the supernatural.”1 Introduction Whether you are a devout Christian or a practicing Buddhist, an agnostic or atheist, deeply religious or moderately spiritual, the role of religion in your current life may differ from that of your immigrant ancestors. Some form of religion is likely part of […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: 2023: The year of the interview

Every family historian suffers from the same regret: Why didn’t I interview (insert any name) when he/she was alive? Much of genealogy is about giving a voice to our ancestors. But have you considered talking to your oldest family members while you have the opportunity? Allow them to share their stories through an interview. Now […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Preserve your artifacts

We all have family heirlooms, photo albums, memorabilia. Some of us have a lot, some of us have very little. As the designated family historian, you may find yourself the keeper of family heirlooms. That can be a daunting task, both because of the sheer number of items, and the sense of responsibility. Getting Started […]


(What should you do when your genealogy hits the proverbial brick wall?) Genealogists often use the term “brick wall” when they hit a roadblock in their research. It happens to all of us. What do you do when you can’t find any more information? Have you exhausted all obvious resources? If so, then be sure […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Are you my cousin? (Part one)

Understanding relationships is an important part of every family history journey. However, understanding relationship terminology can get a bit confusing. Half, first, removed, great, grand, step, foster, adoptive, genetic and fictive. These are just a smattering of kinship terms used in genealogy.  Let’s start with “cousin.” First cousins share a set of grandparents. In other […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: A fresh start to the New Year

When we finish the process of osoji, we are able to welcome the incoming year with a fresh start. Metaphorically speaking, we don’t bring any old dirt into the new year. This applies to your genealogy as much as it applies to the rest of your life. Now that the house is clean, how do […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: A few of my favorite things

It’s getting to be that time of year again. Have you begun to ponder holiday gifts for your friends and family? How about genealogy gifts and gadgets from or for your favorite family historian? Consider the following gifts FOR the genealogy geek in the family: A scanner for digitally preserving photos and documents. There are […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: Road Trip! Embark on a personal pilgrimage through family history

You’ve likely been researching your family history for ages. Are you ready to take your journey to the next level? At some point, you have to step away from the computer and get out of the libraries or archives. It’s time to plan your own heritage adventure. Every ancestral journey is personal. Many of you […]

FINDING YOUR NIKKEI ROOTS: On the Road Again: Planning a genealogy research trip

Any trip requires planning. If you want to go to Japan, you would consider when to go, for how long, which airline to take, which cities to visit and more. Even the most relaxed traveler would have some plans in place.  A genealogy research trip requires the same sort of planning. The more you plan, […]