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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/2022/12/14/adios-amigo-paquito/

Goodbye, friend Paquito

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Paquito with his son Hugo Miyadi, Breakfast Tennis Tournament, AELU, 2013.

Time is the only thing that projects us and gives us the end of things. In it we have the years lived and the years to come. Age is the regulation of our principles and we know that in the end the light will go out and everything will remain in memory.

The old friend, remembered, loved and always esteemed by the principles of friendship. That's Hugo 'Paco' Miyadi Hinostroza. He was the person who came to Jauja in 1956 to play a baseball game and a ping pong or table tennis championship invited by the Los Andes Club of the Japanese colony of Jauja. Me, 16 years old and him maybe twenty, it was the beginning of a friendship that began to never end. The years that followed and continued were simply the path to follow in a life that marked us with everything and made us see that friendship is the melody with which life fills us with happiness and memories.

Paquito Miyadi, first from left. Club's Ping Pong Team. Nisei Huancayo National Association, year 1956

Paco lived in Huancayo and I in Jauja. He was born in the Mantaro Valley and I was born in Lima. As a child they took me to Jauja. The twenty years that represented in my life made me feel mountainous and I still carry it with pride for my childhood and youth.

The Mantaro Valley is the combination of three provinces: Jauja, Huancayo and Concepción. They represent the quality of life and tranquility with which people lived in the 1940s and 1950s. Beautiful landscapes, exclusive beauty, sonorous mornings of Andean birds, smiling vegetation and quiet operetta in the Mantaro region. The bicycle was our way of getting around and the Miyadi brothers, Paco and Víctor, who were always pleasant company and the desire to get to know the city of Huancayo and its surroundings.

Our second stage was the AELU Tennis for the times lived in the sublime and sonorous confinement of its reddish courts and its nostalgic facilities. Huancayo, Tarma and Jauja always emerged in each musical engagement: “La peña del café con leche” or the sublime current Karaoke: Paquito Miyadi, Pedrito Aritomi, Rosita de Mayeshiro, Daniel Kuriyama and Luis Iguchi. We represented the three cities mentioned. The huayno was our emblem at every performance or party and the microphone was shared as a symbol of friendship.

Four years ago we lived the desire to feel like the “grandfathers of tennis” on a trip to the countries of Chile and Argentina. We experienced the support and affection for the best twenty days outside our beloved country. We took advantage of the opportunity to get to know “Los Lagos del Sur” in the company of fifteen ladies and four gentlemen. That came after participating in the “Nikkei Confraternity” Championship, held in Chile. Santiago was the venue where this event took place and we had the opportunity to become champions for the first time in Women's Tennis, Ladies 50 Years Category. This team was made up of the ladies Mercedes Guioma, Brunella Marcial, Nancy Galla, Doris Tayra, Chary Nakandakari and Marilú Shigyo. The Peruvian team won the champion and third place titles, winning the gold and bronze medals. In second place was the Brazilian team.

Paquito and Lucho in the Lagos Del Sur

At the end of the championship we traveled to the south of Chile and from there we began the journey expected by the fifteen ladies and the six gentlemen. With our captain and main animator, Mrs. Mercedes Guioma, we carried out this wonderful and memorable trip through the “Lagos del Sur”, as this tour of two sister countries, Chile and Argentina, is wonderfully called and known. On our list were Mercedes Guima, Nancy Galla, Doris Tayra, Brunella Marcial, Chary Nakandakari, Nancy de Miyasato, Rocío Kuwae, Norma Yagui, Mirian Nakasone, Marilú Matsutahara, Silvia Fuchikame, Rosa Yamamoto, Keiko Tamashiro, Hiromi Hozumi and Sayuri Murata. The five gentlemen were Juan Kanashiro, Tetsuo Suguimaru, Héctor Tsuchiya, Jimmy Nakasone and 'the grandparents' Hugo Paco Miyadi and Luis Iguchi.

Wonderful and memorable trip where Paco and I had the dreams and memories of more than sixty years of friendship. Every night, in the tranquility of our bedroom in the frequented hotels, the memories, the laughter, the songs, the places, the sports, our familiar friends, the dances, the walks and the jobs that our parents imposed on us since we were children and At the end of each night the memory of those friends who have already gone to eternity.

Paquito came to play in the last “Nikkei Confraternity”. That was his passion with the racket in hand and the heart to win. I simply accompanied the ladies to collect the balls. I hadn't played for a while, but the desire to step on the court made me try every point won and every set in our favor. And we reached the top, without wanting to. In the middle of the “Los Lagos del Sur” trip we found a popular and amazing cable car. When we both climbed up we felt that the slope was a true landscape. The photo of a trip in the heat of a summer leads us to take the sky as our masterful pride in finding it. What is the most pleasant memory of two friends lives on a painting in the dining room of my apartment.

Paquito Miyadi, parade in Undokay of the La Union Stadium, AELU.

These last months the AELU was the end of a cruel and fatal pandemic. And having new friends was the best thing about this last harvest. The afternoons of pleasant company filled us with friendships in the New Corner of the Dead Birds. And the loneliness of our confinement became the task of laughter and memories. Thanking our parents and grandparents who had the opportunity to leave us this beautiful sports venue is to want to teach the young generations that the AELU is and will be the Home House for sport, friendship and forgiveness with which each athlete or walker will find the last refuge of his life.

Paquito felt happy every time he came and we met. The fact was to 'volley' without wanting or being able to run. The hits of the ball on the racket were the continuity of our healthy sport, the red court and the shelters on the benches towards the players, gave us that feeling of returning to our years of formal championships.

Two months ago he told me with his usual calm smile that he was slowly going blind. I looked at him and told him “it is our vision as mountain people.” We look at the Mantaro Valley in all its splendor and we don't know how to take care of the climate that gives us everything. My answer was a lie. Today Paquito rests in peace next to the Lord who was kind enough to call him at the age when we retired from life. Dear and remembered friend, we will always be together in the warm games and on the trips that filled us with friends.

© 2022 Luis Iguchi Iguchi

About the Author

Luis Iguchi Iguchi was born in Lima in 1940. He was a contributor to Perú Shimpo and Prensa Nikkei. He also wrote for magazines such as Nikko, Superación, Puente and El Nisei. He served as president of the Club Nisei Jauja in 1958 and was a founding member of Jauja N° 1 Fire Brigade in 1959. He passed away on November 7, 2023.

Updated December 2023

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