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Tell Us About Your Name!

Licensing

Discover Nikkei presented a photo activity at the Japanese American National Museum’s Target Free Family Saturdays: Imagination Storytime event on June 14, 2014. Visitors had their photos taken and were asked to share a story about their names.

The activity was presented in conjunction with the Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João? stories project.

Check out their responses in this album.

Slides in this album 

Gary Tsutomu Ono

I was born 1940 in San Francisco house. A mid-wife helped my mother, the house (a flat) was over my grandfather's Japanese confectionary store named BENKYODO. My mother & father named me as above TSUTOMU means "Studious" & Benkyo means study. 

Ben[k]yodo & the house was on GEARY Street, but my parents thought GARY ...

Gary Tsutomu Ono
Contributed by: editor

Lady Constance of Blackwater

In the old days, the aristocracy wasn’t always kind to regular people. 

In the various countries, my ancestors were from.  

For charity I was able to purchase a “ladyship” in Britain.  In memory of my ancestors, I plan to be “friendly” aristocracy.

My family names are: Sumi, Ezra (a ...

Lady Constance of Blackwater
Contributed by: editor

Gervaise Wein Louix Areola-Liu

As her mom, I have always liked boy names for girls. My first name is of French origin, Givenchy so I choosed:

GERVAISE - a saint in France

- French origin name

WEIN - my husband's name is WEN CHIN & tie likes wine.

LOIIX  Gervaise Wein Louix Areola-Liu
Contributed by: editor

Cathy Haruka Uechi

My parents arrived in Los Angeles from Okinawa in the ‘70s.  They never became fluent in English but when my mother, a hairstylist, had a client named, “Cathy” she fell in love with it.  My mother said she simply liked how it sounded.

My Japanese name is “Haruka” (春香).  “Haru” ...

Cathy Haruka Uechi
Contributed by: editor

Ryan S. Taketomo 竹友

I was given my first name because my father wanted an assertive name that could not end in “-y.”  He thought such a name would sound immature.  

My maternal grandmother chose my middle name from the kanji that means “one that never gives up.” 

The Taketomo family has endured ...

Ryan S. Taketomo 竹友
Contributed by: editor

Helen Hatsuye Ota

大田 = Ota
初江 = Hatsuye
ヘレン = Helen

I’m told that my Auntie gave me my first name, Helen, but I don’t know why she chose that name.  I should find out!

My middle name loosely means “first born.”  I’m the oldest of three, though I admit ...

Helen Hatsuye Ota
Contributed by: editor

Yasuhiro Osako

安: Yasu

I was told by a Chinese man that this kanji is made up of a “roof” 宀 with the character of “woman” 女 

This means “one woman under a roof,” which can represent a sense of safety or peace of mind.

大 迫: Osako is a big valley. 

Yasuhiro Osako
Contributed by: editor

Charlien

My name is a hybrid of my parents’ names.  

My father was “Charles” and my mother, who is Vietnamese American, is named, “Lien.”

*There’s no one else with my name but I can never get an email account with my first name – apparently, there’s a lot of Charlies ...

Charlien
Contributed by: editor

Leo Antonio Dominguez

Leo is my full first name.  I was named after my great uncle Leovardo.

Antonio came from the same uncle because he used to talk to my mother when she was young over the phone using the pseudonym, “Tony Anthony.”

Leo Antonio Dominguez
Contributed by: editor

Cindy "Villaseñor"

Villa = House
Señor = Man

I’ve tried researching where my name originated.  We’ve discovered that my ancestors were either landowners (“master of the house”) or servants.

Cindy is a family name.  My original name was Katherine but my father scratched it off my birth certificate and changed it ...

Cindy "Villaseñor"
Contributed by: editor

June Murakami Magsaysay

My birth name is June Murakami. 

When my mother was pregnant with my sister, Dr. Shigekawa told her that she was going to have a “healthy baby boy.” When my mother became pregnant again, Dr. Shigekawa assured her that this time she was sure that I would be a “healthy ...

June Murakami Magsaysay
Contributed by: editor

Michelangelo

My master, Splinter, named my brothers and I after Renaissance painters.  

I did the Sistine Chapel and many other amazing works.  Nowadays, we fight the evil foot clan from the sewers of NYC.  Cowabunga!!!

Michelangelo
Contributed by: editor

Hello! My name is....

What’s in a name? Share a story about your own (or someone else’s) Nikkei name or nickname.

Check out the submission guidelines: 5dn.org/names. Deadline to submit: October 31, 2014 at 6 p.m. (PST).

Hello! My name is....
Contributed by: editor


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ニッケイ・ルーツ:私たちの文化の足跡をたどる

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