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Nima are members of the Discover Nikkei online community called Nima-kai. Join our community and share your stories about the Nikkei experience. Click an icon on the map to connect with Nima around the world!

*The term “Nima” comes from combining Nikkei and nakama (Japanese for “colleagues”, or “fellows”, or “circle”).

Nima of the Month

KatoSaori (Tōkyō, Japan)

Originally from Yokohama in the Kanagawa prefecture, Kato Saori started contributing to Discover Nikkei earlier this year. Her articles for Discover Nikkei are about Amami Islanders, people who originally hailed from the Northern Ryukyu Islands in Japan, who have immigrated to Brazil. This is closely related to her work at Kanagawa University, where she studied migration and spent one year abroad at São Paulo University in Brazil. In addition to her research she currently serves as an exhibition guide at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama.

What do you like about Discover Nikkei and why?

[EN] I think that any person at one point in life questions his or her identity. As for me, there was a time when I wanted to find out who I was and where I came from.

My paternal grandfather was not around for as long as I can remember. So, I only know some parts of my roots on his side, which were told by my grandmother.

Luckily, on my mother’s side, I have some clear memories of having communicated not only with my grandparents but also with my great-grandfather. Even my great-uncle and great-aunt are around now, so I have been able to trace back some generations of my maternal roots.

But my paternal roots are simply one mysterious family - my grandparents who so suddenly appeared on earth. With no trace, it’s almost impossible to trace back their roots before their generation. Now that my grandmother, uncle and aunt are gone, my paternal roots will forever remain a mystery. I have lost them.

I want to leave some records of people who migrated abroad from a place called Amami and those of their offspring. I don’t want their offspring to get lost in their roots like I have. When I thought about it, Discover Nikkei seemed like my perfect choice. I thought that those who have some connections to people recorded there might be able to find a path to their roots, as long as this project keeps going with records of Japanese people and their descendants carried on.

I believe that Discover Nikkei is a time capsule, which will carry stories of people who have explored the world from many parts of Japan and those of their offspring, to future generations. I hope that this wonderful project will continue to grow, and its records will be passed onto Nikkei in 100 years from now.

Read Saori’s articles >>

[JA] 誰もが一度は自分が何者なのかを考えるのではないだろうか。少なくともかつての私は、自分が誰なのか、ルーツがどこにあるのかを探したいと思っていた。




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