Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/authors/hasegawa-laura/

Laura Honda-Hasegawa

@laurahh

Born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1947. Worked in the field of education until 2009. Since then, she has dedicated herself exclusively to literature, writing essays, short stories and novels, all from a Nikkei point of view.

She grew up listening to Japanese children's stories told by her mother. As a teenager, she read the monthly issue of Shojo Kurabu, a youth magazine for girls imported from Japan. She watched almost all of Ozu's films, developing a great admiration for Japanese culture all her life.


Updated May 2023


Stories from This Author

Thumbnail for Chapter 6: Liberdade
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Chapter 6: Liberdade

Aug. 24, 2011 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

The Liberdade back then is like a completely different world to me now. It was 1964, and I had just transferred to Roosevelt High School.Classes went until 6:00pm, and the route home was through Liberdade’s main street, heading towards the bus terminal.To the students hurrying along wearing white and navy blue uniforms, it was like Urashimataro entering a strange new world. There’s the flicker of dazzling neon signs upon neon signs, and the many people coming in and out of …

Thumbnail for Chapter 5: Saw it! I saw it, too!
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Chapter 5: Saw it! I saw it, too!

Aug. 17, 2011 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Saw it! I saw it, too! Saw it. Of course, I saw it, too.My heart skipped a beat the moment they met.Like in a dream, taken to a place with gorgeous scenery.Introduced to surprisingly beautiful words, and comforted by a beautiful melody.Tears filled my eyes.It made me remember how wonderful friendship is. It made me miss people more than usual. I, too, fell in love at first sight—with Jun-Sang! Bingo! Yes, that’s it.It’s said that “Winter Sonata (Fuyu no sonata)”, …

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Chapter 4: It’s A Carnival!

Aug. 10, 2011 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

The Carnival is the biggest event in Brazil. The Portuguese brought this Pagan tradition to Brazil in the 17th century, and at first it was merely an entertaining recreation for commoners. People had fun in the streets all over town, throwing flower and spraying water at each other. Today, Brazil is world famous as a “Carnival Country”. However, the carnival has turned into an “Exhibition” nowadays. It seems as though the rich “Escola de samba (School of samba)” and the …

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Chapter 3: My First Ofuro

Aug. 3, 2011 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

It was my 12th summerMy first time visiting my grandma’s homeMy first time seeing a large coffee fieldMy first time stepping foot on red dirtMy first time meeting my unclesMy first time playing with my cousins And my first time in an ofuro (Japanese-style bath)You go first, says grandmaMom is chatting on the balconyHer first trip home in decades My first time seeing an oil drumIs it safe to go inside?What if it’s to hot?Hey, if I drown…Hey… Outside the …

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Chapter 2: Japanese Is Difficult!

July 27, 2011 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

1. “Is your mom there?”    “She went to the byouin (hospital).”    “Is something wrong?”    “Yeah, her head.”    “Oh…”    “She’s going to change her hairstyle.”    “Oh I see, she went to the biyouin (salon).” 2. “How’s the new job?”    “It was no good.”    “What?”    “I didn’t make it in time for the interview.”    “Why?”    “I confused yokka (4th) with youka (8th).” 3. After a fight with his wife, the man stormed out of the house as he said, “I want jiyuu (freedom)!” …

Thumbnail for Chapter 1: Your face speaks of your roots
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Chapter 1: Your face speaks of your roots

July 20, 2011 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

“New teacher for Portuguese class is Japanese!” The information spread like lightning. The third year students at the vocational school all poked their heads out of the windows in anticipation. There I was, walking in front of them—a newbie teacher headed to class 3-A. The hallway seemed neverending. I was very nervous. My first job at a school, my very first class—looking back, it was such a stressful moment that it almost makes me want to tell myself, “Good job. You …

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