Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Born 1947 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Majored in Portuguese Language and Brazilian/Portuguese culture at the University of Sao Paulo, and remained actively involved as an educator for 30 years. Contributed articles to Nikkei newspapers and magazines about the Nikkei community and Japanese culture. Her maiden novel “Sonhos bloqueados” was published in 1991, followed by contributions to “Antologia de Poesia Nikkey” (a compilation of selected poetry) in 1993, and “Pátria Estranha” (a compilation of selected short stories) in 2002. “OHAYO Bom dia” was the first work composed in both Portuguese and Japanese. (Translated into English and Spanish)

Updated April 2011

community en ja es pt

Longing for Japan on New Year’s

As the end of the year approaches, the East Asian quarter of São Paolo is lively. Signs in the shop windows of Japanese food supply stores say, “Now taking reservations for mochi and offerings.”

Even for Nikkei who do not usually follow Japanese customs, one cannot do without mochi during New Year’s. I think it is common to grill the mochi and have it with soy sauce and sugar. Another way is ozoni.

My first New Year’s spent in Japan was 42 years ago. Two Nikkei Brazilians studying abroad came over to my house, and we spent ...

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community en ja es pt

Happy New Year! Reminiscing about Oshogatsu with Mochi

“On Christmas Day, we’ll have Brazilian dishes, and on Oshogatsu1 we’ll have the Japanese New Year’s traditional foods. We Nikkei can enjoy twice as many banquets. We’re truly blessed!”

That’s what Mom used to say at the end of every year.

And I think the same way. It’s an advantage to belong to two different cultures.

At our family’s Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, there were always the three of us: Dad, Mom, and me. Although our numbers were small, our gatherings were a very important time in our lives. I ...

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community en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #2: Nikkei+ ~ Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race ~

Kokichi-san

I’ve loved reading since I was little and would find myself drawn to characters in each story. The powerful “Momotaro” and peculiar White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, to name a few. They were all adorable characters.

Once I entered middle school and high school, I was surprised by the complex personality of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. I also encountered a lot of interesting protagonists in Brazilian and Portuguese literature which I majored in college.

But the person I’ve been most impressed by has been Kokichi-san. While other characters have been written in the imagination of authors, Kokichi-san ...

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community en ja es pt

OHAYO Bom dia

Chapter 20 (Part 2): “OHAYO Bom Dia” On-Air

Part 1 >>

Japanese cuisine was also a popular topic. Our shows aired on weekday mornings so many of our listeners were housewives, but we found that there was interest among men as well.

Brazilians are known to incorporate soybeans in their cooking, so we introduced a recipe for cake using “okara” (bean curd lees from making tofu). Other ingredients included bananas and fubá (corn powder), which are commonly used by Brazilians. We immediately received a call after introducing the recipe. 

“Sorry, but would you please list the ingredients for me one more time? My wife is out, and I want ...

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community en ja es pt

OHAYO Bom dia

Chapter 20 (Part 1): “OHAYO Bom Dia” On-Air

“Ohayo Bom Dia! What a wonderful morning it is. This is Laura Honda, bringing you today’s program, full of spirit. Please enjoy.”

For seven years, this is how my day started. Rain or shine, I commuted to the radio station and truly enjoyed my time there.

It had been a life-long dream of mine to work as a radio host.

Back in the 50s, there was a question that adults often asked us kids: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Pretty much all of the girls answered “a school teacher,” but my answer was “a ...

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