Jeffrey Kimoto, Editor-in-Chief of Nikkei WestIn 1992, founder and Editor-In-Chief Jeffrey Kimoto was working as the business manager of a Porsche dealership in Sacramento when at age 32 he decided to start a publication.Kimoto
had long thought that there was an untapped readership for the Japanese American press: the younger monolingual English-speaking Americans of Japanese descent.With no formal journalism training and less than $300 out of his
own pocket, Kimoto
started Nikkei West
Begun as a small 8 page tabloid, the newspaper connects Northern California's disperse yet close knit Japanese American community.Its focus on stories like the lucky police officer takes precedence over more distant stories.Kimoto
was raised by second generation Japanese parents.Like many sansei (third generation), Kimoto
spoke English at home and his
family was not in contact with any distant relatives back in Japan.Kimoto
says that those who don't have ties to Japan don't read Japan-focused papers in which much of the news is in Japanese.
"Honestly, most Japanese Americans couldn't care less about the Emperor," Kimoto
said.Kimoto tries to give particular focus to communities like the South Bay, outside of high profile areas that get a lot of coverage.In addition to a corps of dedicated freelance writers and contributors, Kimoto is Nikkei West's Editor-in-Chief, business manager, production manager, copy editor and designer-it's a one-man show.
"It gives me a lot of freedom to mold the paper into exactly what I want."Kimoto
has made a point to be innovative and always looking to the younger generations.
"I put a lot of emphasis on sports, something so many kids are involved in, plus, parents and grandparents want to read about the kids," he