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What's in a Name

mkochiyama
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Yae Aihara

I was born on August 18th .  In Japanese it is written with 2 Kanji.  8 and “Kasanaru” means “one over the other”.  I have asked other Nisei girls with the same name and their reason for the name is that it is the prettiest variety of cherry blossom and they were born during spring.  I hated my name during my school years since none of the teachers could pronounce it.  Invariably, my name was butchered into Yawko or Yeeko.  I always wished my parents had given me an American name.  Only one high school teacher bothered to ask me how to pronounce my name.  Upon enrolling in his chemistry class, he asked my name and put correct pronunciation marks.  I always admired that and did my best in his class.  

Based on this original

Story of a Name: Yae Aihara
uploaded by mkochiyama
Yae Aihara July 2011 Photo courtesy of Japanese American National Museum More »


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