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The Portuguese exam (Japanese)

(Japanese) The exam finally began, and back then there were both escrita (written) and oral (oral). I could think really hard and just get by with the Portuguese escrita, but I couldn’t understand a word from my instructor during the oral. They ask me questions about geografia (geography) and história (history), and I would have to ask them to repeat it several times. What’s worse is that, back then, for the oral exam, there would be several other students gathered around behind us and listening. Anytime we say something, they really start laughing out loud. I got all nervous just from that, so much so, that I wouldn’t know what was going on anymore. I still remember how three proctors would sit in front of us, asking questions, one by one, about conjugation do verbo (verb conjugation). Well that time I was somehow able to get through it, but there would be others who were asked questions like “conjugate the verb, chover (to rain),” and their answer would be like “um… I am…” So the students around us are laughing their heads off, and we’re next in line watching all of this, traumatized. Another thing was the essay prompt. For the first exam, they would write the topic of the essay, which was “O sofrimento (on suffering),” and they tell us to write over 20 lines on lined paper. This was the exam. But then, I have no idea what sofrimento means. There’s no way to write about it! Yet I look around, and all these Italians and Frenchmen are swiftly writing away, so man, oh man—I had to write something. I wrote something like, “The weather is very nice today, so on a day like this, I bet it would feel wonderful to go for a walk outside.” I got home and looked up sofrimento in the dictionary—it means suffering. My god, the essay itself was a sofrimento! Needless to say, all three of us friends did not pass Portugese.


education Portuguese language

Date:

Location: Brazil

Contributed by: Caminho da memória - 遥かなるみちのり. São Paulo, Brazil: Comissão de Elaboração da História dos 80 Anos de Imigração Japonesa no Brasil, 1998. VHS.

Interviewee Bio

Hideto Futatsugui was born in Nagano in July 1911. He came to Brazil aboard the “Montevideo-maru” in 1932, and enrolled at a school in Sorocabana in 1936. He was employed as a teacher at Taisho School from 1937 to 1942, and continued to teach even after the school was shut down. In 1946, along with the Rikkōkai, he established the São Paulo Student Association. In 1953 he contributed to the establishment of the Harmony Student Dormitories, and since then has worked there for 27 years. His efforts were recognized by the Japanese government, receiving the 5th Class Zuihōshō (Order of the Sacred Treasure), and in Brazil, where he has been designated as an honorary citizen of São Bernardo do Campo. (1998)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Little interaction with parents

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Politics in ethnic studies

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Center for Japanese American Studies in community

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Involvement with ethnic studies

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Testing assumptions of Japanese scholars

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Kids working hard

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

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Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki
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Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki

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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Teaching at the military language school during World War II

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Lesson learned from community college faculty

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Rewards of teaching

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Mitsuo Ito
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Mitsuo Ito

Japanese school

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Shizuko Kadoguchi
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Shizuko Kadoguchi

Strict school policy of separating boys and girls in Japan

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