About the Japanese Multicultural Relief Fund

Japan Pacific Resource Network (JPRN) and Eclipse Rising (ER) established the Japan Multicultural Relief Fund (JMRF) to support emergency relief and recovery efforts for indigenous groups, ethnic minorities and low-income communities affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan.

The JMRF delivered relief grants (a total of $44,435.34 or ¥500,000 and approximately $6,348 to each organization) to the seven grassroots organizations that work with marginalized communities in the disaster struck region, including foreign residents, migrant workers, single parent households, people with disabilities and elders in May 2011.

Additionally, with support of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ, or "Ijuren" in Japanese), the JMRF has helped found the community dining hall/multicultural community center in Minamisanriku, Fukushima Prefecture.

Steering Committee

Kayoko Aoki

Japanese Communications Coordinator

Kayoko Aoki is from Kyoto, Japan. She has been volunteering at JPRN since 2008 after she studied International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. She is a Japanese instructor at a Japanese language school in San Francisco.

Haruki Eda
江田陽生(えだ はるき)

Research Associate

Haruki was born in Kobe to a 2.5-generation Zainichi Korean father and a Japanese mother and raised in Shiga Prefecture. Through his shocking encounter with a gay magazine, he realized his sexuality; meanwhile, he grew up almost as a Japanese in terms of citizenship, name, and culture, until he came to the United States at the age of 19 to study sociology and Queer studies. Since founding a Queer Asian/Pacific Islander student organization at San Francisco State University, he has been actively involved in social movements on the global scale around gender and sexuality, race, anti-imperialism/anti-militarism, educational equity, and so on. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from San Francisco State University in 2010 along with multiple awards including the Hood Recipient Award of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Departmental Honoree of the Sociology Department, and Social Justice Award. He is currently studying Gender, Development and Globalization at London School of Economics and Political Science.

神戸市にて在日コリアン2.5世の父と日本人の母の間に生まれ滋賀県で育つ。11歳頃にゲイ雑誌と衝撃の出会いを果たすことでゲイとしての自覚を持った一方、国籍や名前、文化などの面でほぼ日本人として育ち、19歳でクィア・スタディーズを学ぶため渡米。サンフランシスコ州立大学在学中に設立したセクシャルマイノリティのアジア系アメリカ人のための学生組織や、2009年に加入したEclipse Risingを中心として、セクシュアリティやジェンダー、人種、反帝国・軍国主義、教育政策などの問題について世界規模の社会運動に取り組んでいる。2010年にSocial Justice Award授賞。同年に社会学学士号を取得し、同時に行動社会科学部と社会学科のトップとして表彰された。現在はロンドン・スクール・オブ・エコノミクスでジェンダー、開発学、グローバリゼーションを研究中。

Kei Fischer

Research Associate

Kei Fischer identifies as a mixed-race, third-generation Zainichi Korean. She did not discover that she was actually Korean until she was 12 years old. Having spent her early childhood in Japan, she always assumed chogoris and chijimis were a part of Japanese culture. Her experience as a woman of color helped influence her involvement in community organizing since 18 years of age in education, indigenous rights, local political campaigns, youth activism, women's rights, hip hip and activism, cross-cultural solidarity work, and the Korean peace movement. Kei graduated from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and earned a Master's in Teaching from the University of San Francisco. As a credentialed teacher, she taught in public elementary schools, middle schools, and ESL in Oakland's Adult school. She recently graduated with a Master's in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University and received the Graduate Student Distinguished Achievement Award. In her free time, Kei enjoys crafts and riding her bicycle around beautiful Oakland, CA.


Ryan Gates

Donated website design/updates


Kyung Hee Ha
河庚希(は きょんふぃ)

Associate Director

Kyung Hee was born in Kyoto Prefecture as a 3rd generation Zainichi Korean. During her undergraduate study, she developed interests in human rights issues around Zainichi Koreans and other minorities, including high school GED accreditation of foreigners' schools, exclusion of Zainichi Koreans from the pension program, anti-militarism movement in Okinawa. Since 2004, Kyung Hee has been based in California and working on issues of ongoing imperialism/colonialism through activism and writing. After studying in Seoul in 2008, she is currently a doctoral student of Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego. She joined Eclipse Rising in August 2008.

京都府生まれ。 大学在学中より在日朝鮮人や他のマイノリティの人権問題(外国人学校受験資格問題、在日無年金問題、沖縄反基地運動など)に興味を持つ。2004年より活動拠点をカリフォルニア州に移し、社会活動と執筆活動を通して継続する帝国/植民地主義の問題に取り組んでいる。2008年ソウル留学を経て、現在カリフォルニア大学サンディエゴ校エスニック・スタディーズ博士課程在学。2008年8月よりEclipse Risingメンバーとなる。

Sabrina Kaschmitter

Pro Bono Consultant with Spark SF

Sabrina has been involved in numerous volunteering projects and continues to seek opportunities to effect social change. Her current particular interests lie in the area of mental health, and women's empowerment work. Sabrina was born in the Bay Area, California. She has German, Austrian, and other Western European roots. She still has strong ties to family and friends in Germany, speaks Germany fluently, and has lived in Europe for the past three years. She is now based here again in her native California. Sabrina did a liberal arts bachelors of science degree at Santa Clara University where she studied Psychology and German Studies. While completing an intensive liberal arts degree she became increasingly intrigued by the interplays of research, theory, and everyday social spheres. Taking courses across disciplines she began to question traditional bio-psychiatric perspectives of health and yearned for more complex, comprehensive analyses of social issues on both small and large scales. This lead her to complete a holistic multidisciplinary community health masters at The London School of Economics in 2013. There she examined in detail how to devise more sustainable and effective capacity-building projects that seek to empower those who are/have been highly marginalized. She is currently in the process of publishing her thesis in conjunction with a mental health grassroots non-profit that seeks to approach mental health issues from more middle-ground, integrative, whole-being standpoints. She is excited about being involved in the work of JMRF.

Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Co-Coordinator, Japan

miho kim
金美穂(きむ みほ)


miho was born in Japan as a third-generation Zainichi Korean. Her existence, however, was an object of social and legal erasure and exclusion. Experiencing collective assaults motivated by racism, she escaped temporarily to the United States; however, after returning to Japan, she lost her educational opportunity because of her citizenship at the age of 13. At the same time, she also lost her legal status in Japan permanently. miho's identity was developed in close relation with colonialism before, throughout, and after the World War II and with social and systemic discriminations cultivated by it. Today, based in California, she makes special efforts in capacity building among Hisabetsu Nikkei women so that the systemically oppressed can liberate themselves from ongoing "colonialism" and "militarism" by holding the perpetrator accountable. While working as a translator, she serves as the executive director of a social justice research organization, DataCenter. She also authors a column on social issues and movements in a Japanese magazine, Shukan Kin-yobi (Weekly Friday). She was awarded the Matsui Yayori Human Rights Award in 2008.

在日三世として日本で生まれる。しかしその存在は、社会的にも法的にも無視と排除の対象であった。民族差別による集団暴行を受け、一時米国に避難するが、その国籍ゆえ帰国後、13歳で日本での教育機会を失う。 同時に、永久に日本での法的地位も失った。キム・ミホのアイデンティティは、戦前戦後を通した植民地政策とそれにより醸成された社会的・制度的差別と密接に関わりを持ちながら形成されていった。現在は、カリフォルニアに拠点を置き、被差別日系コミュニティで特に女性たちの能力開発に力を注ぎ、加害者にきちんとした責任を取らせることで、現在も根強く存在する「植民地主義」「軍国主義」に抗して構造的弱者が自らの手で自らを解放できるよう、さまざまな活動を行っている。今現在通訳翻訳業をになう傍ら、オークランドの社会正義研究所データセンター代表を務める。アメリカの社会問題/運動について「週刊金曜日」にて連載中。2008年松井やより人権賞受賞。

Sora Lee

Korean Communications Coordinator

Sora is from Suwon, Korea. She studied Political Science and Economics at University of California, Berkeley.

Akane Nobusa


Akane Nobusa is the executive director of Japan Pacific Resource Network (JPRN), an Oakland-based educational organization that does cross-cultural social justice work. She co-funded the Japan Multicultural Relief Fund. Ms. Nobusa worked herself up to the leadership role after initially joining JPRN in 1997 as a volunteer working on "Civil Rights and Japanese Corporate Community" projects related to discrimination against minorities in Japan, and by Japanese companies here in America.

Akane has since amassed over fifteen years of study tour and exchange program development, facilitation, and coordination experience in her expanded role as director. She works with universities, corporations, government agencies, unions, and grassroots organizations among her many clients. During this time, she has fostered positive relationships within the nonprofit sector, developing leadership programs and community service activity programs. Her goal is enhance the cooperation between nonprofit staffs and undergraduate students to promote citizen engagement for positive social change here and abroad. Akane Nobusa was born in Tokyo, Japan and has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1992.

東京都出身、1992年渡米。1997年、日本におけるマイノリティ差別とアメリカのマイノリティ差別を結びつけたプロジェクトを行っていた、日本太平洋資料ネットワーク(JPRN)の活動にボランティアとして参加。以降、日米のシビルソサエティを推進するための、草の根交流事業と市民活動の人材育成開発に携わる。現在、JPRNの事務局長を務める。15年間に渡り、日本の市 民団体、行政、 労働組合、NPO研究者を対象に、教育、まちづくり、青少年、女性、高齢者、マイノリティなど、幅広いテーマにおける米国NPO視察や日米交流事業の企画 を手がける。また、大学と連携して、多文化共生とアクティビィズムを促進するための、体験型社会教育プログラムの開発やコーディネーションを行っている。 プライベートでは、ボランティアで、日米交流事業の国際コーディネータや通訳、近隣コミュニティのオーガナイジング、ドキュメンタリー映画制作などに携わ る。東日本大震災の直後、Japan Multicultural Relief Fundを立ち上げる。

Desun Oka
岡大仙(おか でそん)

Research Assistant

Desun Oka was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and is 2nd and 3rd generation diasporic Korean. He is currently studying Asian American Studies and Education as an undergraduate at UC Davis. Identifying with multiple histories of the Korean and Japanese diasporas, Desun understands himself as a product of intricate histories of Zainichi Koreans, Japanese, Koreans and the US. He is thus passionate about connecting Asian American movements and studies to contemporary Asia in hopes of creating solidarity among communities in Korea, Japan, and the US. As a student, he is currently involved with work regarding API access to higher education and ethnic studies. During the summer, he is around Palo Alto and San Jose and chills with local communities, friends, and API organizations. Desun joined ER in 2011.

岡大仙は韓国人の母と在日2世の父のもと、サンフランシスコ湾岸地域にて生まれ育つ。現在カリフォルニア大学デイビス校でアジア系 アメリカ学と教育学を専攻。コリア系、日系のディアスポラとして朝鮮半島、日本、アメリカのマイノリティ・コミュニティとの連帯を 目指し、勉学に地域活動に励んでいる。大学では、アジア系、太平洋諸島出身の学生が高等教育へ平等にアクセスできるよう活動を展開。 2011年よりEclipse Risingメンバーとなる

Victor Palacios

Communications Coordinator Assistant

At JPRN, Victor translates articles from Japanese to English or proofreads articles which were translated into English. He also assists the Japanese students in translating English that they may not understand and performs volunteer work along side them, such as planting trees or serving food for UHURU. Victor, a Mexican-American, studied Japanese for four years at the University of California, Berkeley and has become confident in his Japanese-speaking abilities. Victor plans to attend graduate school in Japan and eventually become a professor in education.

Richard Plunk, Artist in Residence

Art Director

Richard is born of an American father and Zainichi Korean mother. He grew up in a US military base in Japan. There he began to become aware of the power of culture and the challenges of diversity. Immigrating to the US as a teenager, Richard gained a deeper experience of being a mainstream cultural outsider. Consequently, his academic and professional interests have been in the service to better understand these cultural dynamics both interpersonally and socially. Having earned a B.A. in psychology from UCB, he is currently working to obtain an MFA and become a fine artist. Richard hopes his art can provide insight in to challenges of culture and diversity and contribute to the discourse of ethnic studies through the vehicle of art.

Ik-Tong Ryo
呂翼東 (りょ いっとん)

Cinematic Director

Ik-Tong Ryo was born in 1992 at Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture as a 3.5th generation Zainichi Korean. In 1999, he enters Korean School in Shimonoseki. However, his family moved to Tokyo in the same year. Then he and his siblings entered International School. In the same year, he visited DPRK for the first time. When he was in the third grade, he watched a movie called Godzilla (1954) and chose to become a film producer. During his fifth grade year, he recognized that he was “weird” for not having a nationality. When he was in the junior high, he got outraged for being called as a “North Korean” from a South Korean student (he was angry at the student for using the word “North Korea” as an abusive word). Then, he started to rethink about Zainichi Korean through studying its history and cultures. During his high school careers, he participated in Zainichi Korean Students’ Committee and Zainichi Korean Summer programs. He had deepened his knowledge through communicating with students in Woori Hakkyo and Zainichi Koreans in Japanese schools. He also participated in Habitat for Humanity programs, which made him aware of the reality of the developing countries. He received the diploma of International Baccalaureate after writing his high school thesis titled, To What Extent did the Zainichi experience in Japan changed from 1910 to the end of World War II?. He met Zainichi Korean film producer, Bong-woo Lee, and increased his passion towards films. Currently, Ik-Tong is studying film production at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

呂翼東は1992年に山口県下関市にて在日朝鮮人3.5世として生まれる。1999年に下関朝鮮小中級学校へ入学。しかし様々な理由により家族全員で東京へ引越し、朝鮮学校の生徒として始めてインターナショナルスクールへ転入する。同年、初の訪朝。小学校3年のときに父親から勧められた映画、「ゴジラ(1954年)」を視聴し、絶大な影響を受ける。その後、ほとんどの円谷作品を視聴し、映画の道へと突き進むことを決意する。小学5年、無国籍者としての自分がインターにおいて異質だということを自覚。中学二年のときに韓国人学生から「お前北朝鮮人なのか」と言われ大激怒(北朝鮮という言葉を蔑称として使われたことについて)。それから在日朝鮮人である自分を本格的に見つめ直し、在日の歴史や文化を勉強しはじめる。高校からは学生会、ハギハッキョに積極的に参加し始め、高校三年のときには在日朝鮮渋谷世田谷支部学生会会長を務めながら朝鮮学校の生徒、日本学校に通う在日と交流していくことで知識を深める。また、高校の時に二度Habitat of Humanityに参加し、フィリピンでボランティア活動に専念し、発展途上国の現実を目の当たりにする。卒業時には初の論文、「To What Extent did the Zainichi experience in Japan changed from 1910 to the end of World War II?」を執筆し、国際バカロレア資格を取得。2011年に映画プロデューサー、李鳳宇と出会うことで映画に対する憧れや情熱を高める。現在はカリフォルニア州ロサンゼルス市のLoyola Marymount Universityにて映画製作の勉強中。

Yongna Ryo
呂映奈(りょ よんな)

English Communications Coordinator

Yongna is a third-generation Zainichi Korean from Chiba Prefecture. She attended a Korean school for 9 years, up until the end of middle school, before enrolling a private high school in Tokyo. She then moved to the United States to study social work at San Francisco State University. Through her encounters with classmates and professors from diverse backgrounds, she has become able to take pride in sharing her own background and experiences and feel her existence acknowledged by others. While attending college, she was involved with various issues around social minorities through volunteering and internship for a nonprofit organization in San Francisco. Today, she continues to expand her perspectives and fields of involvement.

千葉県出身の在日コリアン三世。中学までの9年間朝鮮学校に通う。その後、都内の日本の私立高校を受験し進学。高校卒業後、アメリカに渡り、サンフランシスコ州立大学で社会福祉を専攻。多様な価値観や背 景を持つクラスメイトや先生たちとの出会いを通し、初めて自分の生い立ちや経験を堂々とシェアすることで、自分の存在を認められていることを実感し誇りに思う。 在学中、市内の非営利団体でのボランティア活動やインターンシップを通して貧困や家庭内暴力など様々な社会的マイノリティーの問題に携わり、卒業後の現在もその活動の視野を広げている。

Shin Sugok

Co-Coordinator, Japan

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