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Nikkei Names: Writing Workshop in Gardena


Timothy Masui Toyama

"Timothy" = from the Bible.

My parents' favorite Biblical chapter. Also their best friend in Chicago, where I was born.

Only my mom calls me "Timothy," and only when she's annoyed with me. I prefer "Tim". I loathe, despite, hate "Timmy". I immediately say, "Don't call me the 'T' word." My grandchildren call me "Timmy" and then laugh. "Masui" = my mom's dad. His nickname was "Mike". He was a farmer in Fresno. He grew pansies, a flower that's not supposed to grwo in Fresno because of the heat. A newspaper wrote a piece about him and called him the "Pansy King". I chuckle when I think of that. That nickname can be interpreted in several ways.

"Toyama" "Far Away Mountain" in Japanese. An appropriate last name: My dad, brothers, and myself have pointed heads. My wife saw a family photo and said,"Look at the mountian heads. Like the Rocky Mountain Range."

Based on this original

Timothy Masui Toyama
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Photo taken and name story provided on August 23, 2014 at the Gardena Valley JCI as a part of Discover Nikkei’s workshop warm-up excercise in conjunction with the Nikkei Names: … More »

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