Histories of immigrants (Spanish)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Spanish) Look, up to now, I have made two books on the Japanese immigration and on the natives of Okinawa. One was with the book my sonjin, Okinawa Shi, in the year… of the centennial of the Japanese immigration to Peru, 1999. Before finishing that book, I had already interviewed several ojiichan, obaachan, but more obaachan. To this date, I have interviewed more than 300 ojiichan and obaachan, many of who have already passed away. But around 1998, ‘99, I became so depressed listening to their stories because they were very old people and they talked as if they were saying goodbye to life, with ease, relaxed. So they trusted in telling things that I was not supposed to know. Their sons, daughters were sitting by their sides with threatening eyes. They told me not to write about this, they told me no. I’m not going to tell you because they were stories of abortions, infidelity, beatings, and joyous stories. These were stories that were meant to say goodbye to life without their mouths shut. So, since I have been well raised, I couldn’t count on re-telling that. At a testimony level you can’t tell because you would have to put a name and surname. Without it, it doesn’t have truth to it. So, the only thing I had left, because I didn’t want to loose it, because I want people to see we’re a human group just like the rest… we’re not an example of a Japanese group that works, suffer and that they’re great. No. We’re a human group that has aborted, that has been internally beaten, that have been through problems, and have exceeded them, etc. I want them to see Nikkei people as human beings, but that I can only put it in fiction. And that was the reason I went to the jungle and started my novel. However, I had to stop at page 105 and I still haven’t been able to continue. This happened more than 10 years ago, but I’m going to finish it. I have a lot of faith to this novel. It is going to be excellent because I don’t want it to be an ordinary novel, not lineal. It’s a very literary novel, very human.

Date: February 26, 2008
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Harumi Nako
Contributed by: Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ)

identity interviews novel peru

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

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