Nikkei Chronicles #10—Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities

Submissions for Nikkei Generations closed on September 30. Thank you very much to everyone who submitted stories!

Read the Nikkei Generations stories and help select the Nima-kai community favorite >>

The last day to vote is NOVEMBER 5.

Welcome to the 10th edition of Nikkei Chronicles! Nikkei Generations: Connecting Families & Communities takes a look at intergenerational relationships in Nikkei communities around the world, with a particular focus on the emerging younger generations of Nikkei and how they connect (or don’t) with their roots and with older generations. Through your stories, we hope to gain insight into how global Nikkei communities are evolving overall.

What are relations like among the generations in your community? How have things changed, and how have they not? Who are some fascinating younger Nikkei that you know, and what are they up to? How do you see your community evolving, and what kind of legacies do you want to leave? Personal stories, memoirs, interviews/Q&As, essays, research, reviews, and other forms of prose addressing these rich topics are all welcome.

Submissions will be accepted from May 1 until September 30, 2021, at 6 p.m. PDT.

For more information, visit 5dn.org/generations.

* This series is presented in partnership with: 

        ASEBEX

   

culture en

Passing on the Joy of Being Nikkei

I love obon. Standing under strings of chochin, their warm light dotting indigo summer skies like fireflies always feels like coming home. They transform a liminal space — a street or a parking lot — into a destination. Hot dogs and hamburgers coexist with ikebana and enka without question. For just a few hours, all of me makes sense. Of all the Nikkei traditions I grew up with, this was the one I most wanted to share with my child.

The 2020 pandemic had other plans.

Covid precautions quickly made clear that my child’s first obon would …

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identity en

Hardship and happiness: A New Zealand war bride’s life — Hiroko Kadowaki, 1929-2021

June Baldwin and her son Leon reflect on their mother and grandmother, Hiroko Kadowaki, who migrated to New Zealand in 1956 after marrying a New Zealand soldier she’d met in Hiroshima.

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JUNE (Nisei):

My mother, Hiroko, grew up on the small island of Daikonshima in the middle of a lake in Matsue City, Shimane prefecture, on the north-west coast of Japan. She was the third of four children. Her parents farmed their land. Mum often talked about their fruit orchard and soy beans, and how they made their own soy sauce and silk.

Mum dreamed …

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community en pt

My relationship with Nihongo

I think that most people who have Japanese origins have had contact with nihongo or colonia-go since childhood.

It is a kind of Nikkei dialect in Brazil, where it is a mix between Portuguese and old fashioned nihongo, since it carries the peculiarities and slangs from many parts of old Japan where the immigrants came from (hougen), as a result, an original dialect that is not found in any books, but we can understand each other very easily.

I'm very curious to know if other countries with Japanese immigration has something similar.

As a Nisei, my Parents …

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identity en

Geta, giri and going to Japan

My mother, Naomi Boese (née Taguchi), grew up in Tsuyama, Okayama-ken, Japan. Her mother was a housewife and her father was a postal official. Mum was the youngest of four children; the eldest was a girl, and two boys followed. Mum completed high school but her family couldn’t afford to send her to college, so she joined the staff at the US military base in Iwakuni.

She met my father, Selwyn Boese, sometime between 1955-57, when he was on discharge from the New Zealand Army after serving in the Korean War. My father found work as the assistant manager of …

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identity en

Japanese Kiwi

I descend from a long line of samurai families. I am the fifth of six children of my parents, Taeko Yoshioka and Noel Braid.

My parents met during the Japanese Occupation when Dad was on R&R there during his tour of duty in the Korean War. At 25 years old, he was a gunner in the 16th Field Regiment and my mother, 19, worked in a small, family noodle restaurant. My mother had a privileged upbringing as a child. My grandfather was an engineering officer in the Japanese Imperial Navy and my grandmother the daughter of a local doctor, both …

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Tags

abomb Australia Brazil citizenship colonia-go culture family hibakusha Hiroko Kadowaki hiroshima identity Iwakuni Japan Japanese Korean War language New Zealand NikkeiGenerations obon traditions War Brides