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 >> 

community en

Fishing with Dad

My first recollection of catching a fish was when my dad took me to the San Joaquin River, just below the massive 544-foot-tall Friant Dam, which is located 20 miles east of Fresno. For a 12-year-old, fishing was boring since I had yet to catch a fish. But Dad taught me how to tie a hook, to bait the hook with salmon eggs, how to cast out the line, and to be patient. So, he sat me down under the concrete bridge over the river as he wandered around the bend of the river where he could find a spot. …

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identity en

What Nobody Can Take Away

My Nisei mother was an attractive woman but she wasn’t materialistic. In fact, she was almost fervently anti-materialistic. She would spend money on stylish clothes only when she absolutely had to, for instance, to look her best for an upcoming family wedding. And I don’t think she ever bought a single piece of jewelry for herself. Anything really nice that she owned was given to her either by her family or other relatives. And even then she wouldn’t allow herself the full pleasure of wearing or using those items. For her birthday once, I had an elegant blouse custom made …

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identity en

Our Old Family Albums

Since my mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer dementia and her passing, I have been looking through some old family albums with pictures glued onto the pages or fitted inside photo corners. I was amazed to see so many baby photos of myself with Mom, Grandmother, and my cousins, but only a few of Dad. No one ever talked about Dad to me. He was just a ghost in my family album.

My eyes happened to focus on a page without pictures, just four black photo corners and other pages with pictures of people that I did not recognize. I wanted to …

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identity en pt

Legacy

I have just reached the age of 78. To tell the truth, I never thought I could live for so long, but life has been a brief flash and now what I get is just a bunch of memories. A lot of memories. Some are good, some others not so much.

I recall and greatly miss the time of my childhood, where my parents had been learning how to harvest a small coffee farm. It was a hard and distressing life for a couple of Japanese immigrants. So far away from their homeland, they had been trying to raise their …

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identity en

Grammy-nominated Flutist Ron Korb on his Journey to Japan

There’s a glint of pure excitement in the eyes of Grammy-nominated flutist and composer Ron Korb as he begins to open up about his experiences in Japan. “Every single day, there was some new thing, some exciting little thing,” he reminisces, “It was never boring. I just loved every minute of it.” From the good, to the bad, and to the beautiful, Korb recalls the events that have made the country worth visiting 21 times.

Korb’s journey to Japan began with his mother Mariko “Mary” Ennyu, who was born into a Japanese immigrant family in 1920. While she was raised …

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