International Nikkei Research Project Staff and Advisors


Project Description


Institutional Participants



Staff and Advisors

English Japanese
Spanish Portuguese

Japanese American
National Museum

Francis Y. Sogi
Chairman Emeritus
Mr. Sogi has built a successful law career since 1952 practicing both in Tokyo and New York. He is a veteran of the United States Military Inteligence Service and the Counter Intelligence Corps. In addition to being a Life Partner with the international law firm of Kelley Drye and Warren, he has served on the School Board of Pocantico Hills School District as a member and Board President; President of the Japanese American Association of New York; a member of the Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans by appointment of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; a member of the Board of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation; a member of the Board of Governors of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i; a member of the Advisory Council of University of Hawai'i's Colleges of Arts & Sciences, and a member of the Board of a number of commercial companies. Mr. Sogi brings his vast professional experience, his leadership and vision to this important international project of the Japanese American National Museum.

Akemi Kikumura Yano, Ph.D.
Dr. Kikumura holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles and is an award-winning author and playwright. She has taught anthropology and ethnic studies at UCLA and the University of Southern California and is best known for her book, Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman. Her play, The Gambling Den, received the Ruby Yoshino Schaar Playwright Award. Dr. Kikumura was the curator of the Museum's inaugural exhibit, "Issei Pioneers: Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924," and has overseen the development and implementation of the Museum's National Partnership Program which includes projects such as "In This Great Land of Freedom: The Japanese Pioneers of Oregon," and "The Kona Coffee Story: Along The Hawai'i Belt Road," which received an award from the American Association of State and Local History for its excellence. Dr. Kikumura is responsible for the overall direction, development and implementation of the International Nikkei Research Project.

James A. Hirabayashi, Ph.D.
Chief Project Advisor
A Harvard University graduate in anthropology, Dr. Hirabayashi is Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University. His distinguished thirty-year academic career included the position of Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of Ethnic Studies. In the latter position, he is recognized for his pioneering leadership in establishing the nation's first school of Ethnic Studies. He has also held research and teaching positions at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and University of Zaria, Nigeria, Africa. Dr. Hirabayashi provides overall guidance and direction to the Museum's educational and curatorial programs which includes collections, exhibitions, public education programs, film, and research. As Chief Advisor, Dr. Hirabayashi provides leadership in the development of the Project's conceptual framework and content-related materials.

Richard Kosaki, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor
Dr. Kosaki recently retired as the President of Tokai International College in Honolulu, Hawai'i and is the Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Prior to his current position, Dr. Kosaki served as Special Assistant to the Governor of Hawai'i from 1987-90. As Senior Advisor to this Project, Dr. Kosaki will provide guidance in overall project planning.

Lloyd Inui
Senior Advisor
A University of Michigan graduate in Political Science, Mr. Inui is Professor Emeritus, California State University-Long Beach. His 27 year academic career included positions in the Department of Political Science and as Director of Asian American Studies/Asian Languages Program. He was a founding member of the Asian American Studies Program at California State University-Long Beach to which he devoted his entire professional career. In addition to serving on several Museum committees, Mr. Inui provides input and consultation primarily for the Museum's educational and curatorial programs.

Satomi Takeda
Project Coordinator
Ms. Takeda comes to the Museum from the Hotel Inter-Continental Los Angeles at California Plaza where she served as International Sales Coordinator. Born in Japan, Ms. Takeda came to United State at the age of 20, graduated with honors from Santa Monica City College in Art and was naturalized in February 1998. Ms. Takeda plays a key role in the overall coordination and communication efforts of the research project.

Masayo Ohara, Ph.D.
Research Specialist
Dr. Ohara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the Osaka University of Foreign Studies, a Masters of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from Columbia University where she specialized in international relations and comparative politics. Her main research focus was on the causes of Japan's militarism in the pre-World War II period. Dr. Ohara oversees the compilation, coordination and development of the educational resource materials for the International Nikkei Research Project.

Eiichiro Azuma
Mr. Azuma is currently a doctoral student of history at the University of California at Los Angeles where he is recognized among his peers and faculty for making significant contributions to the field of Japanese American Studies. Mr. Azuma's research focus is on the history of early Issei in North America. He will assist in the development of the International Nikkei Resource Guide and specifically with the interpretation and analysis of major research written in Japanese and English that relate to the Nikkei experience.

Brian Niiya
Mr. Niiya is a writer and curator specializing in Japanese American history and culture based in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Cameron Trowbridge
Manager, Hirasaki National Resource Center
Mr. Trowbridge holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Information (Library and Information Services) degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Mr. Trowbridge is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of electronic resources for the Museum. This includes maintaining the Museum's web site as well as providing expertise to the staff of the National Resource Center in continuing to enhance the Museum's suite of access programs.

Toshiko McCallum
Reference Librarian
Ms. McCallum is responsible for coordinating public use of the Museum's permanent research, and institutional collections through the public reading room of the National Resource Center. She comes to the Museum from the East Asian Library, UCLA where she worked as the head of the Access Services section. Ms. McCallum received an MLS in Library and Information Science, UCLA, and also holds an MA in Anthropology, UCLA. She has a strong interest in Museum work, and participated in organizing exhibitions, including her own show of Japanese bamboo baskets, at the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA.


Photography by Norman Sugimoto