Traditional Japanese events for Japanese Americans (Japanese)

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Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) To me, Nikkei people are Americans, and I feel like they don’t know much about Japan. It just seems like they have a sense of nostalgia about the culture of Japan. So that might show up in the form of Oshogatsu (New Years) celebrations or Obon festivals. One time, a Nikkei family invited me to Oshogatsu, so I went, and honestly I was expecting some Osechi Ryori (traditional Japanese New Year’s cuisine). But instead, there was tempura. They had prepared this mass of tempura [laughs]. “Ah,” I realized, “so this is Oshogatsu for Japanese Americans.” There wasn’t but a trace of anything resembling Osechi Ryori. But I understand that for them, they had done their best in preparing the food. Anyway, I don’t really remember if there was Japanese sake, or some mochi, but I do remember that we had sushi. Of course, no one in Japan really eats sushi on New Years. But it made me think that maybe they [the Japanese Americans] are longing for this kind of special Japanese event, to try and get a taste of tradition and culture.

Date: March 1, 2007
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Yoko Nishimura
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

culture New Year's Day nikkei oshogatsu traditions

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