ナオミ・ヒラハラ

(Naomi Hirahara)

Naomi Hirahara is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes, Officer Ellie Rush series, and now the new Leilani Santiago mysteries. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, she has written a number of nonfiction books on the Japanese American experience and several 12-part serials for Discover Nikkei.

Updated October 2019

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2017年日系人お正月ストーリー —その1

1月のニュースレターで 、世界各国の日系人読者の方々が、どのように新年をむかえられるかを写真や文章を通して紹介してくださるようにお願いしました。読者の方から英語・日本語・ポルトガル語による返事をいただきました。ジャスティン・イナハラさんからのストーリー (英語)はとても長かったので別にしてご紹介させていただきました。その他の方からのストーリーは、ここに紹介いたしますのでお楽しみ下さい。

Un-Chanto Woman』 の苦肉の策
: ナオミ・ヒラハラ

私は『un-chanto』であることから幼少期より広島生まれの母を度々悲しませてきた。セーターをなくさなければ鉄棒で回転するためにパディングとしてかけ、汚す事や、出かける前に行き方を前に調べないで長時間迷うことなど様々なエピソードがある。

年末の買い物客でごった返しているスーパーから帰ってみると ...

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Ten Days of Cleanup

Chapter Three—The Curse of Mottainai II

Clement of the Japanese American museum called me back an hour later. His hunch was right: the photos and the name plate in the mystery storage unit were connected to this Tokko Kinjo at a retirement home in Boyle Heights. He had even touched base with Tokko’s eldest son, who lived in Alhambra.

“I’m sorry,” Clement said to me over the phone. “The children don’t want you to be interacting with the father, even virtually.”

I let out a sigh. I had ten, no, now nine days, to empty a storage unit in Pasadena. And so far ...

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Ten Days of Cleanup

Chapter Two—The Curse of Mottainai I

While many post-World War II Japanese families were all about discarding old tansu and kimono, my mother closely held to the value of mottainai, that it was a disgrace to throw something away before its time. In other words, as long as an object had not completely disintegrated, she was against throwing it away.

We were from a small town, Minamiawaji, on Awaji island in Hyōgo prefecture. Our family house was an old wood-framed structure that should have been torn down years ago because of termites and its exposure to the elements. But my parents continued to live there, along ...

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Ten Days of Cleanup

Chapter One—The Contract

“Hello, Souji RS. Hiroko speaking.”

I held my cell phone to my ear as I defrosted some natto in the microwave. My 10-year-old daughter Sycamore’s lunch break was in a few minutes and she had 50 minutes before her next Zoom session.

“Are you the cleaning service?” The voice on the other line was male, low without any warmth. He sounded American, which meant he could have been any race or ethnicity.

“Ah, I provide a soul cleansing and past erasing service.” That was the tagline that I had devised after taking a free online branding course.

No response ...

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Silk

Chapter Twelve—A Japanese Girl

For the past two days, Okei’s teeth chattered, all day and all night. It was as if a spirit had entered her body and she had no control over it.

“I don’t want to die here, Sakurai ojisan,” she said to her constant companion, Matsunosuke “Mats” Sakurai.

Both of them had joined the Veerkamp household after the Schnells had disappeared. Since Francis and Louisa had so many young children, Okei was supposed to help lighten the matriarch’s load. As it turned out, Okei fell seriously ill with a high fever, creating an additional burden for the family ...

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