Javier Takara

Javier Takara (not his real name) is a Nikkei Sansei of Okinawan ancestry who was born in Lima in 1965. His paternal grandparents were from Kumejima and his maternal grandparents were from Itoman. In 1989, he went to Japan as a dekasegi. He currently lives in the city of Zama, in Kanagawa Prefecture. Visit his blog here.

identity en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #5—Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture

How I Found Out I Was Uchinānchu (Okinawan)

I lived a peaceful life with my grandparents on the 11th block of Arnaldo Márquez street in the Jesús María District of Lima (where “anyone who didn’t have Inca blood, had African blood”1), when my parents decided to send me to school. Going to Jishuryo (Santa Beatriz School) and realizing quickly that I was surrounded by “chinos”2 was such a shock that it took me a while to recover (until that time all of my friends had been Peruvian, despite my obā’s warnings not to be friends with “dojin”3). At recess one day soon afte…

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