Nikkei Chronicles #11—Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community

Back by popular demand, our theme for the 11th edition of Nikkei Chronicles is Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community. We invite you to submit your personal stories, essays, memoirs, academic papers, restaurant reviews, and other prose works on Nikkei food–how Nikkei use local ingredients, cooking techniques, agricultural practices, and tastes to create their own versions of Japanese food. We are particularly interested in sharing Nikkei family and community stories behind favorite recipes. 

All submissions that meet the guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the Itadakimasu 3! series. The submission deadline is Friday, September 30, 2022 at 6 p.m. PDT.  

Visit for more information!

*Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community is presented in partnership with:




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*Logo design by Jay Horinouchi

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Leonardo Oyakawa: cocinando su camino

Cuando vivía en Lima, ninguna flecha o señal le indicaba que el camino hacia su futuro profesional estaría en la cocina. Aunque le gustaba hacer postres, apenas terminó el colegio se mudó a Florida, Estados Unidos, y empezó a trabajar como cajero en una gasolinera. “Mi primera experiencia en la cocina fue de mesero, cuando el chef nikkei peruano Oscar Noborikawa me invitó a ver cómo él preparaba sushi”.

Su habilidad con los cuchillos lo cautivó y fue entonces que decidió aprender el arte de la cocina japonesa. “Recuerdo que me pidieron enrollar un roll con pepino, que previamente debía …

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El Nantu, el mochi de Uchina

Los nikkei heredamos una cultura que trajeron nuestros antepasados de Japón. Para mis abuelos, que vinieron de Okinawa con la inmigración, algunas de sus costumbres se han adecuado a nuestro país, mientras otras se han conservado al pie de la letra, pese a que en su lugar de origen ya han caído en el olvido, como si con ellos se hubiera congelado el tiempo. A veces siento que hemos crecido queriendo el lugar ideal que vieron en sus mentes.

Nosotros en Perú tenemos un pequeño emprendimiento llamado “Chawakí y algo más”, nació para preparar las ofrendas al butsudan (altar para …

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Umeshu: Drinking Past and Present

Every summer I drive to the local Japanese markets to look for them – the small, green ume that are only in season a couple weeks each year. Through the cool blast of air from the store’s sliding doors, I make a beeline for the produce section feeling excited and nervous, never knowing whether the ume will actually be in stock yet, or if I’ve miss-timed my arrival by a few days or a week. Sometimes the mission is a failure and I have to try again, but when I do find them, piled up in their cardboard box, the …

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Food for Thought—TikTok & Tamagoyaki

Like any good Gen Z-er, I’ve made my fair share of TikToks since I first downloaded the app two years ago. Most are silly and trivial and recorded primarily for my “impressive” following of 45 followers—the majority being school friends. 

Although it pales in comparison to the millions and even billions of views that top users (often dubbed “Content Creators”) regularly receive, the most popular TikTok that I ever made was, interestingly enough, a minute-long video of my dad and me making tamagoyaki.

By the time I eventually privated it, the video had only received a little under 2,000 …

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communications community family family tradition food Itadakimasu Kusakabe Leonardo Oyakawa mochi multiculture Nantu okinawa Peru peru plum wine San Francisco Sushi Sushi Chef tamagoyaki uchina umeshu United States