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Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato

@mtsukayama

Sansei whose paternal and maternal grandparents were from the town of Yonabaru, Okinawa. She now works as a freelance translator (English/Spanish) and blogger at Jiritsu, where she shares personal stories and research on Japanese immigration to Peru and related topics.

Updated December 2017


Stories from This Author

Thumbnail for Nikkei New Year: A History of <em>Oshogatsu</em> Since the Time of the Issei
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Nikkei New Year: A History of Oshogatsu Since the Time of the Issei

Jan. 11, 2017 • Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato , Asociación Peruano Japonesa

I spent almost all of my childhood with my grandmother. Her customs, which were of course very Japanese, were reflected in her daily life. She didn't celebrate Christmas, but she did celebrate Oshogatsu (New Year in Japanese). In those days, I remember that preparations for Oshogatsu began on December 31. Starting at dawn, we cleaned the house, while my mother cooked. She spent the entire morning cooking tofu, a pork dish with turnips and carrots, kombu knots, plenty of sushi …

Thumbnail for 106 years of Peruvian Japanese journalism. A story only interrupted by war
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106 years of Peruvian Japanese journalism. A story only interrupted by war

Jan. 26, 2016 • Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato , Asociación Peruano Japonesa

Journalism in the Peruvian-Japanese community is almost as old as the history of Japanese immigrants itself. The need to be informed in their own language prompted the appearance in 1909, ten years after the beginning of Japanese immigration to Peru, of Nipponjin (The Japanese), the first Japanese news program in Lima. Its preparation was rudimentary. It was written by hand on office paper (the same one used in businesses to wrap packages) and its 40 sheets were tied together with …

Thumbnail for Mom Junko. Okinawan immigrant who survived war shares memories
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Mom Junko. Okinawan immigrant who survived war shares memories

Aug. 21, 2015 • Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato , Asociación Peruano Japonesa

With an infectious smile, Junko Uehara escapes from her Fujinkai choir class for a few minutes. It was just for a few minutes, to take photos for the article. “My mother doesn't like missing her classes,” says her daughter Ana. But sometimes, reliving memories with family is enough to escape from our obligations and passions for a little while. Junko had escaped for only a few minutes, but without realizing it, it ended up being almost three hours, between memories …

Thumbnail for Crystallizing Dreams: Testimony of Chieko Kamisato, former Crystal City resident
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Crystallizing Dreams: Testimony of Chieko Kamisato, former Crystal City resident

July 21, 2015 • Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato , Asociación Peruano Japonesa

Chieko Kamisato is a Peruvian-American Nisei who spent time at the Crystal City concentration camp in the United States between 1944 and 1946. Recently, she visited Peru to reconnect with some friends as well as with the past. Her memories, reflecting a lifetime of difficulties and overcoming obstacles, deserve to be shared. The story begins with her father Junken. Originally from Okinawa, he arrived in Peru in 1915. Awaiting him were his older brothers, with whom he worked in various …

Thumbnail for What was behind the Exhibition “Yonabaru: 100 Years of Presence in Peru”
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What was behind the Exhibition “Yonabaru: 100 Years of Presence in Peru”

Dec. 2, 2014 • Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato

“Yonabaru: 100 Years of Presence in Peru” is the title of the exhibition that opened last Wednesday, September 12 at the facilities of the Peruvian-Japanese Association in Lima. It is an exhibition that tries to tell us the history of the Yonabarunchu community in Peru, since this year commemorates the 100 years of the arrival of the first group of Yonabarunchu to Peru. But, it is not a boring exhibition about history, it is a dynamic exhibition told through the …

Thumbnail for The Mabuyá or the Earthquake that Brings Good Luck: Some Traditions of my Oba that are now memories of my childhood
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Nikkei Chronicles #2—Nikkei+: Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race
The Mabuyá or the Earthquake that Brings Good Luck: Some Traditions of my Oba that are now memories of my childhood

Sept. 3, 2013 • Milagros Tsukayama Shinzato

“Don’t sweep the house at night or you’ll become poor” or “if you cut your nails at night, the devil will come for you.” Even more prophetic, “you are going to cry…” which my oba always said when she saw the cat washing herself. I heard these and other sayings while growing up. When my oba left us, we didn’t hear such things as often, but there are a few (in addition to many other traditions and beliefs) that are part of our …

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