Voces de Chicago

Los artículos de esta serie fueron publicados inicialmente en Voces de Chicago (Voices of Chicago), el periódico en línea del Chicago Japanese American Historical Society (Sociedad Histórica Japonesa Americana de Chicago), la cual ha sido una Organización Participante de Discover Nikkei desde diciembre de 2004.

Voices of Chicago es una colección de narraciones en primera persona sobre las experiencias de las personas de ascendencia japonesa que viven en Chicago. La comunidad está compuesta por tres oleadas de inmigración, y los descendientes: La primera, alrededor de 300 personas vinieron a Chicago por la época de la Exposición Universal de Chicago en 1899. La segunda, y el más grande grupo, desciende de los 30,000 que vinieron a Chicago directamente de los campos de internamiento después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Denominados los “recolonizadores”, ellos crearon una comunidad construida alrededor de las organizaciones de servicio social, iglesias budista y cristiana y pequeños negocios. El tercer, y más reciente grupo, son japoneses que vinieron a Chicago, a partir de los ochenta, como artistas y estudiantes y se instalaron. Un cuarto grupo de no inmigrantes son ejecutivos de negocios japoneses y sus familias, quienes viven en Chicago durante largos periodos, a veces de manera permanente.

Chicago siempre ha sido un lugar en donde la gente puede recrearse a sí misma, y en donde diversas comunidades étnicas viven y trabajan juntas. Voices of Chicago cuenta las historias de los miembros de cada uno de estos cuatro grupos y de cómo encajan en el mosaico de una gran ciudad.

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Guiding Force

Looking back into my life, I have noticed that a certain invisible hand has always supported me. I am not talking about the economics term of Adam Smith, the “invisible hand,” that describes the self-regulating nature of the marketplace. The invisible hand that I am mentioning here is a guiding force that opens doors for me. Help is offered to me when I am in trouble. Something leads me to the right direction, when I am lost. Opportunities are coming to me, rather than catching them. It is something more than that I am a lucky guy. I feel that ...

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Catching Lightning in a Jar

When you’re a writer, everything that happens to you is a potential story you will one day write. The more awkward, wacky, horrible or wonderful the moments comprising the experience—the better. The writer’s job is to catch lightning in a jar. To honor the experience by rendering it as vividly on the page as it was lived in life. Sometimes a writer can even write about an experience he’s never had. For example, in one of my novels, I write from the innocent point of view of a baby who hasn’t been born yet. For ...

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Masaru Funai Chicago Lawyer

I am a transplant in Chicago, having arrived from Hawaii with my wife, Carolyn, in 1954 to attend Northwestern University Law School. Our children, Bryan and Shari, were both born in Chicago and we have made this city our home for the past 55 years.

I have been asked a countless number of times what made me leave the Hawaiian Islands and relocate in Chicago. My short answer has always been, “You can’t eat sand and sunshine.” My real reason for choosing Chicago as our permanent home was the fact that attempting to establish a law practice in Hawaii ...

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Baburu, Apology and My New Life

Once upon a time, there was such a thing as the Bubble Economy. No one was aware of it while it was around. Then everyone started calling it “Baburu” only after it had supposedly popped and disappeared without a trace. It was in reference to the economic growth of the 80's in Japan. In the later part of that decade, Japanese corporations got so lush with dollars they were able to buy the pride of America: the Hollywood studios. There were many media backlashes to this action. Some Japanese cultural figures even forewarned of such a bold move as ...

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I Was Born in 1962 in Tokyo.....

I was born in 1962 in Tokyo. I grew up just like an average Japanese. I went to junior high, high school, and to University. Unfortunately, I goofed off and did not study, dropping out at the end of the fourth year. I got a job at a children's clothing company doing accounting, sales, and production management. I learned a lot about business and it was fun, but after four years, I decided to change my job. My Dad asked if I wanted to go to America for a while since our family had hosted an exchange student from ...

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