レイモンド・ナカムラ

(Raymond Nakamura)

レイモンド・ナカムラ氏は、ブリティッシュコロンビア州バンクーバー在住。娘のお使いに振り回されていない時は、ヴォゴン人の詩*を書き、『ニューヨーカー誌』に却下されたことのある漫画を描いている。また、戦前ナカムラ氏の母が育ったパウエル・ストリートのガイドも務めている。子供向けのスポーツ詩集『And the Crowd Goes Wild』に、アイスホッケーのキーパーになることを題材にした詩が掲載されている。www.raymondsbrain.com.

*注:ヴォゴン人はSFシリーズ『銀河ヒッチハイク・ガイド』に登場する架空の宇宙人。シリーズでは、「ヴォゴン人の詩」は宇宙で3番目にひどい詩とされている。

(2012年10月 更新)

identity en ja es pt

ニッケイ物語#4 — ニッケイ・ファミリー: 記憶、伝統、家族観

米寿を迎えたジョージ・ナカムラ

今年、私たちは米寿を迎えた父のために盛大なお祝いの会を開きました。88歳を迎えることは昔ほど珍しくないかもしれませんが、それでも88歳という年齢には、特に日本文化では、特別な意味があります。88歳は日本では「米寿」と呼ばれ、直訳すると「米の年」という意味になります。漢字で「八十八」と縦に書くと、「優良」や「豊富」の象徴である「米」という字に見えるからです。私たちは、父が今回のパーティーを十分に楽しめるくらい健康でいてくれていることをとてもうれしく思いました。今回のお祝いの会を記念し、私は本人の記憶を元に父のこれまでの人生をまとめました ...

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ニッケイ物語#7 — ニッケイ・ルーツ:私たちの文化の足跡をたどる

My Bachan

We called my Dad’s mom, Bachan. When we visited, she’d offer me a cherry-flavoured cough candy, and I would nod and say, arigato. Every Easter, she sent me and my brothers a chocolate bunny each. She didn’t speak much English and I didn’t speak much Japanese. So I knew her only a little. She was 4’7”, vegetarian, and raised eight kids. She lived 91 years smoking roll-your-own cigarettes. I’ve since realized her life reflects many of the most significant events in Japanese Canadian history.

She was born Taki Kinoshita on February 8, 1889 to ...

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A Tale of Two Baa-chans

For better or worse, marriage can change your life. The arranged marriages of my Issei baa-chans (first arrived grandmothers) completely transformed theirs. Even though my grandmothers did not know each other, they shared experiences in common. Both were eldest daughters, born during the Meiji era of Japan, and immigrated to Canada as teenagers to marry older men they had never met.

Both of my baa-chans discovered life in Canada was not what they expected.

My father’s mother, my Nakamura baa-chan, was born Taki Kinoshita in 1889, the year a new constitution for the Empire of Japan was established under ...

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Not Made In Japan

Breaking Fast

Breakfasts
Were processed,
Warm and white.

Soup, often corn,
Always a powder,
Poured into a plastic bowl
That looked lacquered.

Added water, 
Boiled in an aluminum kettle 
On the rusting gas table. 

In the shiny red toaster oven,
Toasted a single piece of white bread, 
Soft and square and thick,
With tiny holes
Like styrofoam,
Something to do with Japanese flour. 

On top
Sat a single piece of white processed cheese 
Plasticized
At its melting point. 

In rural Japan,
Real cheese 
Was not a real option.

Sitting at my low table
Quickly break my fast.

Gulp.
Bite.
Chew.
Swallow.
Repeat.

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Not Made In Japan

Feeling Warm at Christmas

One Christmas...

My Mom sent me a turkey one Christmas. It was a frozen, smoked turkey. I invited a bunch of people to my place to eat it. I took out the middle sliding doors of my rooms, so I had a fair amount of space. The tricky thing was that the turkey was too big to fit in my microwave oven. Since it was smoked, I just had to figure out how to defrost it. I ended up using the electric heating element of my table for warming my feet, to warm the turkey. I sliced off bits as ...

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