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

How does the food you eat express your identity? How does food help to connect your community and bring people together? What kinds of recipes have been passed down from generation to generation in your family? Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture revisited the role of food in Nikkei culture.

For this series, we asked our Nima-kai community to vote for their favorite stories and an editorial committee to pick their favorites. In total, four favorite stories were selected.

Here are the selected favorite stories.

  Editorial Committee’s Selections:

  Nima-kai selection:

To learn more about this writing project >>

Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series:

#1: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture 
#2: Nikkei+ ~ Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race ~ 
#3: Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João? 
#4: Nikkei Family: Memories, Traditions, and Values 
#5: Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture 
#7: Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

food en

Calpis, Torikawa, and Yūrei: An Osaka Summer

Memories that inextricably tie together food, family, and childhood can be some of our most lasting and profound. Such memories and related sensations can surface from the depths at the slightest provocation, and via seemingly random sources. Which brings me to the notion that everything truly is connected, and perhaps increasingly so as we age, memories steep and deepen, and the long ago and faraway take on an otherworldly quality.

One of my favorite films is Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo Sumaseba 耳をすませば) and I never tire of watching it over and over. A 1995 Japanese anime directed by ...

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food en ja es pt

A Precious … and Delicious Legacy

The life of Ms. Aiko, a pleasant and hyperactive obatiam who, to this day, at age 96, provides a lesson in vigor and joy of living, would serve very well as inspiration for a book. She was even the subject of a brief article in this newspaper last July, in addition to having been interviewed by the Japanese TV station NHK and the French newspaper Le Monde. Besides, she has been mentioned in several publications.

Having lived in Brazil for 90 years and for more than 60 years in the city of São Paulo, Ms. Aiko has other ...

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food en ja es pt

It happened at the Misuzu Restaurant. Honto Ni!*

[The city of São Paulo’s] Rua Américo de Campos is a short and narrow roadway that begins at Largo da Pólvora, crosses Rua Galvão Bueno, and, at the corner of Rua da Glória, comes to an end at Praça Almeida Júnior. I was able to follow its trajectory with my eyes closed. Well, at least back then I was. At number ... 1154? That’s where you could find Misuzu, a sui generis Japanese restaurant.

This restaurant differed from other restaurants in the Asian neighborhood [of Bairro da Liberdade] by the fact that ...

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food en ja es pt

Hard times for Mother, good memories for me

“Eat it all, mottainai to throw it away.” Although two years have passed, I still miss my mother. “If you run out of ajinomoto, use shoyu (soy sauce) with sugar.” I still remember so many pieces of advice she gave me! “If you cook with tanchi, the food tastes bad.” My mom was always right. Food is prepared with love, without tanchi (being upset).

My mother wasn't openly affectionate and neither was my grandmother (oba). Both were widowed with small children in difficult times: my oba during the war (1944) and my mother during Peru's economic crisis (1985 ...

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food en

Restaurant Memory

My favorite restaurant in Little Tokyo is called Suehiro’s. It is a small Japanese restaurant on First Street between San Pedro and Alameda. It used to resemble a little mom and pop restaurant, but was recently remodeled to keep up with the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. It is now more elegant and even has a wine bar, but it still serves the same comfortable, delicious food.

I like the chicken sukiyaki with its hearty broth and steaming noodles. I always search for the chewy shiitake mushroom hidden among the vegetables. The food is very simple: crunchy shrimp tempura, salty fish ...

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