Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato

Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato: A sansei whose paternal and maternal grandparents came from the town of Yonabaru, Okinawa. She works as a freelance translator (English-Spanish) and also shares both personal stories and her research on Japanese immigration to Peru and other related themes on the Jiritsu blog.

Updated September 2013

community en ja es pt

Nikkei New Year: A History of Oshogatsu Since the Time of the Issei

I spent almost all of my childhood with my grandmother. Her customs, which were of course very Japanese, were reflected in her daily life. She didn't celebrate Christmas, but she did celebrate Oshogatsu (New Year in Japanese).

In those days, I remember that preparations for Oshogatsu began on December 31. Starting at dawn, we cleaned the house, while my mother cooked. She spent the entire morning cooking tofu, a pork dish with turnips and carrots, kombu knots, plenty of sushi and even sweet potato and vegetable tempura. All of this food was prepared as an offering for the butsudan ...

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war en es

Crystallizing Dreams: Testimony of Chieko Kamisato, former Crystal City resident

Chieko Kamisato is a Peruvian-American Nisei who spent time at the Crystal City concentration camp in the United States between 1944 and 1946. Recently, she visited Peru to reconnect with some friends as well as with the past. Her memories, reflecting a lifetime of difficulties and overcoming obstacles, deserve to be shared.

The story begins with her father Junken. Originally from Okinawa, he arrived in Peru in 1915. Awaiting him were his older brothers, with whom he worked in various trades. Seven years later, he brought over his wife, Kami—Chieko’s mother.

Junken and his brothers walked the streets ...

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identity en ja es pt

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

The Mabuyá or the Earthquake that Brings Good Luck: Some Traditions of my Oba that are now memories of my childhood

“Don’t sweep the house at night or you’ll become poor” or “if you cut your nails at night, the devil will come for you.” Even more prophetic, “you are going to cry…” which my oba always said when she saw the cat washing herself. I heard these and other sayings while growing up. When my oba left us, we didn’t hear such things as often, but there are a few (in addition to many other traditions and beliefs) that are part of our memory; if nothing else, they are reminders of my oba. As they say ...

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community es

Fiesta, música y juventud nisei en las décadas de 1960 y 1970

Una asidua concurrencia nikkei llenaba los salones de baile todas las semanas. Testigo de ello son el Salón Majestic, el Kaseijo Gakko de Sáenz Peña en La Victoria o la Beneficencia China. Todas las semanas había fiestas en la colonia japonesa en Lima. Para dar mayor emoción, se decoraba el lugar según la ocasión. Si la fiesta se llamaba “La Gruta”, se decoraba todo como si fuera una gruta. Si era “Acuario”, se decoraba como tal, hasta con agua y peces. Así es como Nori Yonashiro, fundador de la orquesta Seventy Seven, recuerda ...

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community es

106 años de periodismo peruano japonés. Una historia solo interrumpida por la guerra  

El periodismo en la colectividad peruano japonesa es casi tan antiguo como la propia historia de los inmigrantes japoneses. La necesidad de estar informado en su propio idioma impulsó la aparición en 1909, diez años después del inicio de la inmigración japonesa al Perú, de Nipponjin (El Japonés), el primer informativo japonés en Lima.

Su elaboración era rudimentaria. Se escribía a mano en papel de despacho (el mismo que se usaba en los negocios para envolver los paquetes) y sus 40 hojas eran unidas con un cordel. Una vez terminado, el único ...

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