Hudson Okada

Udê, a.k.a. Hudson Okada, was born in the city of Matão, São Paulo, on Aug. 2, 1979. Since 2005, he lives in the city of São Paulo’s Liberdade district. He is part of the Jornal Nippak team of collaborators. As a writer, he has won several literary contests – including an honorable second place in Brazil’s Sesc-DF Prize for Literature, in the short stories category.

Updated July 2016

food en ja es pt

My Grandmother's Ozoni

“She’s making soup!”

That was my mother’s and my aunts’ hint to us children, that it was time for us to get out of my grandmother's kitchen.

For several days, she had been dedicating herself to the preparation of this very special broth, the ozoni, so that, according to Japanese tradition, it would bring us good luck in the new year about to begin.

My grandfather, her husband, didn’t care much for any of that. My other grandparents, on my father’s side, cared even less. They were already following Western traditions.

Away from the adults ...

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sports en ja es pt

Footballer

One day it hit me: all my friends knew how to play soccer—except me.

And that got me thinking: where did they learn all those rules and how did they learn to kick the ball like that?

Of course, like every Brazilian they learned the ABCs of soccer while playing with their fathers in their backyards. And since my father—the son of Japanese immigrants—couldn’t care less about soccer, I was left behind.

Now, what should have been nothing more than a minor detail in my cultural formation, ended up resulting in years of personal shame.

Real ...

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community en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #5: Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture

Né?

Even though there are many words and expressions that characterize them for Brazilians—hai, banzai, and arigatô—the interjection [Portuguese-language contraction of não [not] + é [is], meaning “isn’t it?”], of course, is the one that most relates to Japanese.

That is evidenced by the fact that there isn’t a single jokester who has never teased a Japanese person, saying things like, “It’s expensive, ?,” “the Japanese have the slanted eye, ?,” and “the Japanese eat raranges, ?”.

Note #1: When Brazilians say “Japanese,” they may be referring to either a de facto Japanese or Japanese descendants ...

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food pt

Feijoada?

Nunca imaginei que a feijoada pudesse ser algo repugnante aos olhos de uma pessoa. Mas a reação que vi de um jovem japonês ao provar esse prato, me fez mudar de ideia.

O rapaz havia acabado de chegar do Japão. Veio através de um programa de intercâmbio, estava ficando na casa de um amigo meu, e queria conhecer todos os clichês do Brasil.

Prometemos lhe apresentar as praias, o samba, a cachaça e o carnaval. Mas que, antes de tudo, ele teria que conhecer o nosso prato mais popular: a feijoada. Sugestão ...

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food pt

Nikkei Chronicles #6: Itadakimasu 2!: Another Taste of Nikkei Culture

Paladar

Mesmo ainda muito criança, cheguei fácil a essa conclusão: a casa dos meus avós maternos era tão diferente das outras que eu conhecia – até então – que, quando eu estava nela, era como se eu estivesse num outro plano.

E os motivos para essa impressão eram vários:

Os adultos – meus avós, meus pais e meus tios – só falavam entre eles em japonês. Os jornais e livros do meu ditchan eram todos escritos em japonês. Os musicais que minha batchan assistia também, japoneses. Os enfeites espalhados pela casa – vasos, quadros ...

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