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

   

identity en

Yoru no kangaegoto | Night Thoughts

Jyā mata raishū ne!” 

“See you later!”

The Zoom call ends, and I finally head to bed.

Another long day has passed for the both of us. Meetings, deadlines, teaching. Otsukare sama

As I lie on my bed, staring into the dark abyss above, I reflect on how the day went, and the things I need to prepare for tomorrow.

How did we get here? By here, I mean co-founding Japanese for Nikkei and trying to advocate the importance of creating Nikkei spaces for language learners to thrive. For so long, I’ve been trying to run in …

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community en

Fishing with Dad

My first recollection of catching a fish was when my dad took me to the San Joaquin River, just below the massive 544-foot-tall Friant Dam, which is located 20 miles east of Fresno. For a 12-year-old, fishing was boring since I had yet to catch a fish. But Dad taught me how to tie a hook, to bait the hook with salmon eggs, how to cast out the line, and to be patient. So, he sat me down under the concrete bridge over the river as he wandered around the bend of the river where he could find a spot. …

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identity en

What Nobody Can Take Away

My Nisei mother was an attractive woman but she wasn’t materialistic. In fact, she was almost fervently anti-materialistic. She would spend money on stylish clothes only when she absolutely had to, for instance, to look her best for an upcoming family wedding. And I don’t think she ever bought a single piece of jewelry for herself. Anything really nice that she owned was given to her either by her family or other relatives. And even then she wouldn’t allow herself the full pleasure of wearing or using those items. For her birthday once, I had an elegant blouse custom made …

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identity en

Our Old Family Albums

Since my mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer dementia and her passing, I have been looking through some old family albums with pictures glued onto the pages or fitted inside photo corners. I was amazed to see so many baby photos of myself with Mom, Grandmother, and my cousins, but only a few of Dad. No one ever talked about Dad to me. He was just a ghost in my family album.

My eyes happened to focus on a page without pictures, just four black photo corners and other pages with pictures of people that I did not recognize. I wanted to …

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identity en pt

Legacy

I have just reached the age of 78. To tell the truth, I never thought I could live for so long, but life has been a brief flash and now what I get is just a bunch of memories. A lot of memories. Some are good, some others not so much.

I recall and greatly miss the time of my childhood, where my parents had been learning how to harvest a small coffee farm. It was a hard and distressing life for a couple of Japanese immigrants. So far away from their homeland, they had been trying to raise their …

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brazil canada Chronicles culture family Family family roots father fishing food generations identity Japan Japanese for Nikkei Japanese language language mixed mothers Nikkei Generations Nisei roots values