Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In Japanese, kizuna means strong emotional bonds. In 2011, we invited our global Nikkei community to contribute to a special series about how Nikkei communities reacted to and supported Japan following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Now, we would like to bring together stories about how Nikkei families and communities are being impacted by, and responding and adjusting to this world crisis.

If you would like to participate, please see our submission guidelines. We welcome submissions in English, Japanese, Spanish, and/or Portuguese, and are seeking diverse stories from around the world. We hope that these stories will help to connect us, creating a time capsule of responses and perspectives from our global Nima-kai community for the future.

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Although many events around the world have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have noticed that many new online only events are being organized. Since they are online, anyone can participate from anywhere in the world. If your Nikkei organization is planning a virtual event, please post it on Discover Nikkei’s Events section! We will also share the events via Twitter @discovernikkei. Hopefully, it will help to connect us in new ways, even as we are all isolated in our homes.

community en

COVID Ghost Town

In November 2019, I was in a US hospital for five days. My temperature was hovering around 102°F. I sweat profusely, followed by the chills. I couldn’t get out of bed without collapsing to the floor. I was dizzy, I had lost my appetite, I was extremely weak.

This was before COVID was a daily news story, though medical researchers now have speculated that the virus started around that time in Northern Italy (and not China).

I went to the Emergency Ward and the medical staff ran several tests on me. They found that my bladder, my kidneys, and most …

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community en

Just 10 Weeks Ago

10 weeks ago, I joyfully drank sake and ate the best tonkatsu in Tokyo.

8 weeks ago, I toured snowy Hokkaido tasting their bounty of kombu, oysters, and uni.

6 weeks ago, I played Mahjong with my neighbors and won three rounds in a row.

4 weeks ago, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at the local pizzeria. Later that evening, our Governor called for a statewide shutdown.

2 weeks ago, the stock market crashed.

How the world has changed. One moment we were celebrating the first day of 2020 with Oshogatsu ryori. Cheers to a new decade …

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community en

Learning From the Issei Grandfather I Never Met

“What you are feeling is grief,” says the article from Harvard Business Review. And yes, living in COVID-19 in Washington State, March 2020 feels like a kind of grief, even though I have grieved before. But the waking up to a profoundly altered reality each day, each wave a fresh infusion of loss, or a looming reminder of losses to come—grief feels like an appropriate description.

Honestly, the way that I dealt with grief in the past was to avoid. I avoided through hyperactivity, through overachievement, anything to avoid feeling grief. Learning the skill of grieving has really taken …

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community es

Tiempos pandémicos: teletrabajo y koden digital

Al dolor por la pérdida de un ser querido, se suma el desconcierto si la muerte ha sido inesperada y no estás preparado para lidiar con la situación. ¿Qué procedimientos hay que seguir, a quién notificar primero?

La desorientación se acentúa en esta coyuntura marcada por el coronavirus, plagada de restricciones, nuevos protocolos e idas y venidas de las autoridades, que primero establecen que la cremación de cuerpos es obligatoria y luego retroceden, o que prohíben los velatorios, los autorizan con aforo reducido después, vuelven a vetarlos más adelante, y así, en función de la marcha del virus.

Y aun …

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community pt

COVID-19 e os heróis anônimos

Todos os países do mundo quase sem exceção, vêm sofrendo dolorosamente os efeitos da terrível pandemia da Covid-19. Alguns mais, outros menos, mas nenhum passou incólume. E não se sabe como e quando ela terminará. Em meu país, Brasil, a situação é muito grave, gravíssima! Até agora menos de 20% da população foi vacinada e, para piorar, o imunizante está se esgotando, sem previsão de retomada por inépcia de nossos governantes. São mais de 400 mil vidas ceifadas, outros milhares de pessoas internadas e os indicadores permanecem em níveis que continuam causando muita apreensão.

O país é muito grande, de dimensão continental e o desnível socioeconômico entre …

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