ER CORE



Some of the ER core and community members 
at our founding retreat in 2009


ER core members and allies 
at the Association for Asian American Studies Meeting in 2017


<in alphabetical order of the family name>

Haruki Eda

Membership and Communications Coordinator
(he/they pronouns)

Haruki is a poet, community organizer, educator, and researcher. He identifies as mixed, queer, and 3rd-generation Zainichi Korean. While growing up in countryside Japan, he struggled to make sense of his queerness more than his Zainichi-ness. Coming to the US to study and get involved in LGBTQ activism, however, Haruki started meeting other queer/trans Koreans for the first time, finally having a space to make sense of multiple identities at once. This process propelled him to pursue a PhD in sociology at Rutgers University. He has been conducting ethnographic research on transnational community organizing among diasporic Koreans in the US. 


Kei Fischer
Co-Coordinator, Treasurer

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 Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University. She is currently the program chair for ethnic studies at Chabot College in Hayward.


Kyung Hee Ha
Secretary, Historian

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 completed Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego. Kyung Hee's currently in Tokyo teaching. She joined Eclipse Rising in August 2008.


miho kim
Co-Coordinator

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.


Tomomi Kinukawa
Member 
(pronoun undecided) 

I’m a queer non-binary mixed-race person with Corean and Japanese ancestries with Japanese and cis-passing privileges, but I only started to call myself that way a few years ago in my late 40s. Before that I had lived with a sense of being incapable of articulating myself. I would like to honor that state of inarticulation as a significant part of my life. At the end of 2013 I joined Eclipse Rising. Identifying myself as perpetrator, victim, and survivor of Japanese imperialism, I have worked as a founding member of the SF-based “Comfort Women” Justice Coalition to demand justice from Japanese Government. Since acquiring a Ph.D. in Madison, WI in 2001, I have taught courses in Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Queer Studies, Health Education, and History on both coasts of the US. Currently I am teaching at SFSU and Chabot College. My past publication centered on issues related to colonial science and Whiteness as property. Past several years I have been researching and writing about health disparities, assimilation politics, racial and other forms of passing, and collective healing as insurgency. Since March 2018 I have been also going through breast cancer treatment. (8/2/2018) 


Desun Oka
Historian

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. 


Ik-Tong Ryo
Cinematic Director

Ik-Tong Ryo was born in 1992 at Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture as a 3.5th generation Zainichi Korean. He entered a Korean school in Shimonoseki in 1999, but soon afterwards, his family moved to Tokyo, where he and his siblings entered International School; he visited the DPRK for the first time 
in the same year. When he was in the third grade, he watched the movie Godzilla (1954) and decided to become a film producer one day. During his fifth grade, Ik-Tong recognized that he was "weird" for not having a nationality. In junior high school, he got outraged when South Korean student  called him a "North Korean"--using the word "North Korea" as a derogatory term. This incident made him rethink about Zainichi Koreans through studying their history and cultures. During senior high school, he participated in Zainichi Korean Students' Committee and Zainichi Korean summer programs. He had deepened his knowledge through communicating with other Zainichi Korean students in Woori Hakkyo, or Korean schools, as well as in Japanese schools. Ik-Tong also participated in the 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, "To What Extent did the Zainichi experience in Japan change 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, he is studying film production at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.


Yongna Ryo
Secretary, Historian

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.







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