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 Episode 32: Only 5 months of dekasegi life
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Dekasegi Story
Episode 32: Only 5 months of dekasegi life

July 15, 2019 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Mari had no children and, after her husband died early, she focused solely on work. After graduating from a vocational school, she worked as an elementary school teacher while finishing university. She met her husband at university, who shared the same aspirations as Mari: "I want many children to know the joy of studying." After the two got married, Mari taught mathematics at a junior high school in a neighboring town while helping out at the cram school her husband …

Thumbnail for Episode 31 Yuji is great!
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Dekasegi Story
Episode 31 Yuji is great!

June 10, 2019 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Yuji and I are childhood friends. We've been together since we were little, and our houses were close to each other. We used to wander around on the way home from school, and we would often get scolded when we got home. We went to the same elementary school, but when I got to junior high school, I started going to a private school. Thanks to the money my father sent home from Japan to work, our life became stable, …

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Dekasegi Story
Episode 30 (Part 2) Joanna's Great Adventure

May 22, 2019 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Read the first part >> Joana had never left the rural area where she was born and raised, but when she was 49, her daughter Luisa decided to attend nursing school in São Paulo and she went to live with her there until she had settled down. She rented a small house in the suburbs and commuted to work on a crowded bus. For her daughter, she tried many things she was not used to. City life, which was completely …

Thumbnail for Episode 30 (Part 1) Joanna's Great Adventure
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Dekasegi Story
Episode 30 (Part 1) Joanna's Great Adventure

April 17, 2019 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Even as a child, Joana was a hard worker, going to the fields early in the morning with her parents and three older brothers, returning home at 11:30 and eating lunch with her two younger brothers before going to school with them. When Joana was just three months away from graduating from elementary school, her mother fell seriously ill. Joana had to take care of her mother and also work in the fields. She could no longer go to school, …

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Nikkei Chronicles #7—Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage
Japanese music and me

Oct. 11, 2018 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

When I was eight years old, I attended Japanese language school for a while and the only memory I have of it is Gakugei-kai , when students performed musical numbers and plays for a small audience of parents and teachers. The most graceful girl in the class always took on the coveted role of princess in history and those with musical talent sang traditional children's songs. I was never chosen to be the princess nor was I good at singing, …

Thumbnail for Episode 29: The Song of Dekasegi
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Dekasegi Story
Episode 29: The Song of Dekasegi

Aug. 17, 2017 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Eric and Emily are twin siblings. When they were five years old, their parents divorced and their father took them in. Two years later, their father went to work in Japan, and their paternal grandparents took care of them in Brazil. Although their grandfather ran a Japanese grocery store and their grandmother ran a beauty salon, Eric and Emily were raised with a lot of love, despite being busy families. Their grandparents, who were second-generation Japanese Americans, were skilled in …

Thumbnail for Episode 28 (Part 2) A Homecoming After 27 Years
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Dekasegi Story
Episode 28 (Part 2) A Homecoming After 27 Years

April 24, 2017 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

Read the first part >> Masahiro Shibata, 46, has been living in Japan for 25 years, but this is his first time back in Presidente Prudente, where he was born and raised, in 27 years. The town hadn't changed as much as he had thought. Just as he thought, "There's probably no one left who remembers me," someone called out to him. "Do you remember me? I'm Kiyoshi's grandma." "Well, nothing has changed!" "Is 'Familia 1 ' included?" "Well, Prudente …

Thumbnail for In Brazil I was always “the Japanese”, but in Portugal I became “the Brazilian”!
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Ohayo Bondia II
In Brazil I was always “the Japanese”, but in Portugal I became “the Brazilian”!

March 13, 2017 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

The other day I read “ Astro ”, written by Hudson Okada and published on this website and, at the same time, I remembered an event that happened to me years ago. I was born in the Capital of São Paulo, daughter of a Japanese father and a Nikkei mother, daughter of Japanese immigrants. Therefore, my features are Japanese, so much so that when I'm in Japan, as long as I don't open my mouth, everyone thinks I'm a native …

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Nikkei Oshogatsu Stories 2017 - Part 1

March 2, 2017 • Naomi Hirahara , Laura Honda-Hasegawa

In our January e-newsletter, Discover Nikkei put out a call for Oshogatsu stories. We asked our Nikkei readers from around the world to show us, through photos and words, how they welcomed the New Year. We received several stories written in English, Japanese, and Portuguese. One story, by Justin Inahara, was so long that we had to publish it separately. The rest are gathered below for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! * * * * * Desperate Measures of Un-Chanto Woman …

Thumbnail for Episode 28 (Part 1) A Homecoming After 27 Years
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Dekasegi Story
Episode 28 (Part 1) A Homecoming After 27 Years

Feb. 6, 2017 • Laura Honda-Hasegawa

"Massa is coming back!" "Eh?! Shibata's?" "That's right. My third son, Masahiro, is coming home!" "How many years has it been?" "Maybe 20 years or so?" Masahiro left Presidente Prudente, where he was born and raised, around May 1990 when he was 19 years old. When I was a child, I lived with my parents and two older brothers, and there were five of us in my family. After school, I would play ball with my friends in the field, …

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