ジャパン・ジャーナル

1995年から2004年にかけて仙台に住んでいたノーム・イブキさん。その当時の経験をまとめたのがこのシリーズです。カナダ、トロントの新聞「Nikkei Voice」からの転載です。

culture en ja

マイルス・デイビスと共演したジャズ・ピアニスト「アカギ・ケイ」とはいったい何者か?

僕はまったくの偶然から、ジャズ・ピアニストの赤城恵と知り合いになった。

きっかけは、僕の英語学校にちょっと変り種の新入生が入学したことから始まった。その新入生とは、仙台で活躍するクラシックの作曲家・本間雅夫さんだ。外国人の友人たちと英語で話が出来るようになりたいというのが、彼が英語を勉強する気になった動機だ。他の教師たちは、本間さんは中年にしては覚えが早いと言っていた。そんな訳で、僕も彼と知り合いになりたかったわけだ。

確かに、彼の文法構造を素早く把握できる能力には感心した。ちょうど僕は東北の小旅行から帰ったばかりだったので、その話を彼にした。そうしたら、彼も小説家・太宰治の故郷金木にほど近い青森出身だと言うではないか。

すっかり意気投合して、個人的なことをいろいろ教えてもらった。なんでも彼の奥さんの真理さんは、父親の泰 ...

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community en

Growing up Korean in Japan - Part 2 of 2

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Hearing Joomi’s story reminded me of my own restless feelings growing up yearning to melt into the Canadian mainstream, to be embarrassed to tell people my Japanese middle name, Masaji, to somehow erase the reasons for the laughing finger pointing and vicious name calling. There wasn’t anything glorious about growing up Nikkei in Canada either.

Our similar immigrant’s stories of initial hardship, hard work, being scorned, made prisoners, persevering, keeping their dreams in sight, and, one or two generations later, seeing the fruits of their labor ripen with the success of their offsprings in ...

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community en

Growing up Korean in Japan - Part 1 of 2

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 1999. Since it was written, the situation of Koreans in Japan has changed, but since many issues persist today, we thought this was still important to share.

From time to time the topic of xenophobia in Japan comes up in my higher level English class.

The other week, I had one such class with a group that included an eye doctor, two Ph.D. students, and one university professor. At the beginning of the class I recited some statistics about the alarming rate at which the population of Japan is aging ...

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identity en

No More Bombs: The Legacy of Hiroshima and the A-Bomb - Part 3 of 3

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There’s a model of the city before the bomb, a bustling metropolis of about 350,000 with a good reputation for higher education, and a military base.

While the pictures of the physical damage to Hiroshima are devastating, I’ve seen similar ones of the aftermath of the bombings of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka, and Sendai that show a similar scale of physical destruction as unimaginable as it seems today. In March 1945, Tokyo was fire bombed for two hours, leaving 16 square miles of the eastern side of the city destroyed; 88,793 dead, 130 ...

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identity en

No More Bombs: The Legacy of Hiroshima and the A-Bomb - Part 2 of 3

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August 5th, Hiroshima

I have recently been looking for some answers about how to live “correctly”—meaning, I suppose, with personal integrity and respect for all people and nature. I’ve read quite a bit along these lines: Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, the Koran, and Bahai faith and even the pleasure of talking occasionally with a Jehovah Witness fellow who is always kind enough to drop off free copies of the “Watch Tower” for me.

I am a product of a cynical age, having come of age (to some extent) in the nineties. I’ve seen friends become ...

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