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

Being Nikkei is inherently a state of mixed traditions and cultures. For many Nikkei communities and families around the world, it is common to use both chopsticks and forks; mix Japanese words with Spanish; or celebrate the New Year’s Eve countdown with champagne and Oshogatsu with ozoni and other Japanese traditions.

This series introduces stories explore how Nikkei around the world perceive and experience being multiracial, multinational, multilingual, and multigenerational.

Each piece submitted to the Nikkei+ anthology was eligible for selection as our readers’ favorites. 

Here are their favorite stories in each language.

To learn more about this writing project >>


Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series:

#1: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture
#3: Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?
#4: Nikkei Family: Memories, Traditions, and Values 
#5: Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture 
#6: Itadakimasu 2!: Another Taste of Nikkei Culture
#7: Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

identity en

4-Sei What? That’s Mixed Up

At home, I speak Japanese. At school, I speak English. And at times, I speak both. The two languages are thrown in a verbal potpourri few can understand. I am a bilingual, fourth generation Japanese-American. But English is my favorite subject. As you can probably tell, my English and Japanese are often まざってる.1 いつも、 same sentenceで I use both languages.2 Upon typing the previous two sentences, I realized how confusing this concoction can be. It’s easy to hear, but definitely hard to read. Therefore, やるのを I’ll stop.3

By now, most are probably wondering how I ...

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food en

Karami: A new product that’s an old Japanese American twist on salsa

Forget Pace Picante Sauce, which used to make a big deal of being made in San Antonio instead of phony salsas made in New York City. Forget San Antonio as well as New York City. Look no further than Pueblo and Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder-based entrepreneur Kei Izawa and his partner, Jason Takaki, are launching a new product this weekend that really isn’t new at all. Karami is a Japanese American twist on salsa that tastes pretty great on a lot of food including chips, meats and fish, but its origins are as a Japanese side dish, the kind you ...

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food en

Cross-Culture A La Carte

Daddy, she said shyly, I don’t feel like cooking this Sunday….

Of course, I answered. Would you like to eat at the cafeteria at Fort Sam?

Oh, I crave for something reallydee-licious, her qualifier for something she would truly enjoy.

Ok, I’ll look for something…we can afford.

“Craving for something dee-licious” was a sophisticated Japanese way to express the need for a little medetai.1 Now, I had to find a place where the four of us, my wife and our two little girls, could have a little enjoyment on what my salary as Master Sergeant ...

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migration es

Un Alcalde oriundo de Okinawa

Navigating in a small motorboat without stopping from the town of Pucallpa (located south of Loreto Departamento) up the Ucayali river to the Huanuco Departamento - under normal conditions - takes up to 4 hours to reach the mouth of the Pachitea river and an additional 2 hours furrowing to reach Honoria town.

This town is located on the left bank of the Pachitea river. When I visited for the first time, there were approximately 200 houses with a population of just over 800 inhabitants, back then this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon area was not frequently traveled. The local inhabitants ...

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food ja pt

キムチとカブとニンニク

東北レシーフェに用事ができたので飛行機の便を予約した。サンパウロへ帰る前、ブラジリアに寄る事にした。そこには昔からの知り合いがいるので、サンパウロから何か珍しいものをおみやげに持って行くことにした。その友人がサンパウロへいた頃、私たちはよく日系人が経営するゴルフの練習所へ行き、キムチをつまみにビールを飲みながら汗を流していたのを思い出し、近くの韓国食料品にあるキムチとカブの赤唐辛子漬けとニンニクを持っていくことにした。

しかし、店でキムチとカブの赤唐辛子漬けとニンニクを手にした時、「あっ!これはヤバイ!」と感じた。臭いが強烈だったのだ。やめようとしたら、お店の主人が、「うまく梱包するからダイジョウブ」と自身満々。丁寧に、何回も密閉した容器をお肉屋さんのようにセロファンをまきつけてくれた。しかし、家へ帰る車内、すでにすごい臭いがした。後の悲劇を予感させる物があった ...

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