Nikkei Chronicles #10—Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities

The theme of the 10th edition of Nikkei Chronicles—Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities—takes a look at intergenerational relationships in Nikkei communities around the world, with a particular focus on the emerging younger generations of Nikkei and how they connect (or don’t) with their roots and with older generations. 

Discover Nikkei solicited stories related to Nikkei Generations from May to September 2021. Voting closed on November 8, 2021. We received 31 stories (21 English; 2 Japanese; 3 Spanish; and 7 Portuguese) from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, and the US, with a few submitted in multiple languages.

An editorial committee chose a favorite story in each language. In addition, a Nima-kai favorite was determined by online community voting. Here are the selections! (*Translations of the selected stories are currently in progress.)

Editorial Committee’s Favorites

Nima-kai Favorite:

To learn more about this writing project >>

* This series is presented in partnership with: 

        ASEBEX

   

 

Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series >> 

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Interned and enlisted: My family history

Tomo, my grandfather

My grandfather Tom (Tomo) was a joker, the self-confessed black sheep of the family. He liked to “stir the pot,” and his deep belly laugh would erupt whenever he sensed some kind of family controversy.

Just for fun, he left my grandmother waiting at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney on their wedding day “FOR A LONG TIME” (she said) for him to arrive. She wanted to strangle him. He just laughed.

I called him Pop. He was strong-willed, bullish, hard-working but also very charismatic and well-liked. He seemed to have inherited his confidence from his Australian mother, …

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In Conversation with Japanese-Australian artist Elysha Rei

Brisbane-based artist Elysha Rei’s bold paintings and intricate paper cuttings draw upon her Japanese heritage. Her grandmother Akiko was raised in Osaka until her father died when she was 12, as well as Tokyo and Manchuria. She was working as a typist just after the war when she met Glen an Australian soldier stationed in Iwakuni as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces. The two fell in love and married in 1948. They had their first daughter in Japan – Elysha’s aunt, Patricia. Glen wished to leave the army and move to Australia with his new family, but this …

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Life with Grandpa Toyoji & Grandma Kii Imai - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>

Grandmother Kii Imai (1873-1964) displayed her humbleness, respect for all forms of life, her debt of gratitude for everything, and her meekness. She was not as well educated formally as grandfather, but yet understood the nature of man and lived a life of gratitude. She greeted everyone with a deep bow, always with a smiling face. Unlike grandpa, she was the one who tilled the soil and took care of the back yard garden and grew vegetables for the family. She even taught me to sharpen the hoe using a flat file. She would put present …

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Life with Grandpa Toyoji & Grandma Kii Imai - Part 1

PartGrandpa Toyoji (1869-1953--from Niigata, Japan) was unquestionably a unique person, exercising complete freedom and free will. His mannerisms and actions that he displayed, his character that he portrayed, makes me think he was one that no one can ever duplicate. He would be so stern at times, and yet on the other hand he could be very compassionate and caring. Grandfather was never a physical person, in that he was never seen in the back yard garden, nor working with tools, nor involved in any food preparation – he was not a manually oriented individual.

He was indeed a scholar; …

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Yoru no kangaegoto | Night Thoughts

Jyā mata raishū ne!” 

“See you later!”

The Zoom call ends, and I finally head to bed.

Another long day has passed for the both of us. Meetings, deadlines, teaching. Otsukare sama

As I lie on my bed, staring into the dark abyss above, I reflect on how the day went, and the things I need to prepare for tomorrow.

How did we get here? By here, I mean co-founding Japanese for Nikkei and trying to advocate the importance of creating Nikkei spaces for language learners to thrive. For so long, I’ve been trying to run in …

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