Akemi Kikumura holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She has taught Asian American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Southern California and UCLA and is an award-winning author, curator, museum specialist, and playwright. She has appeared on television and films, including Farewell to Manzanar. In 2012 (fall), she was decorated by the Japanese Government with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, in recognition of her contributions to the development of Japanese American Studies and promotion of understanding of Japanese Americans in the U.S. and Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) in the Americas. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the UCLA, Asian American Studies Center.