Nikkei Chronicles #2—Nikkei+: Stories of Mixed Language, Traditions, Generations & Race

Being Nikkei is inherently a state of mixed traditions and cultures. For many Nikkei communities and families around the world, it is common to use both chopsticks and forks; mix Japanese words with Spanish; or celebrate the New Year’s Eve countdown with champagne and Oshogatsu with ozoni and other Japanese traditions.

This series introduces stories explore how Nikkei around the world perceive and experience being multiracial, multinational, multilingual, and multigenerational.

Each piece submitted to the Nikkei+ anthology was eligible for selection as our readers’ favorites. 

Here are their favorite stories in each language.

To learn more about this writing project >>

Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series >>

identity en

4-Sei What? That’s Mixed Up

At home, I speak Japanese. At school, I speak English. And at times, I speak both. The two languages are thrown in a verbal potpourri few can understand. I am a bilingual, fourth generation Japanese-American. But English is my favorite subject. As you can probably tell, my English and Japanese are often まざってる.1 いつも、 same sentenceで I use both languages.2 Upon typing the previous two sentences, I realized how confusing this concoction can be. It’s easy to hear, but definitely hard to read. Therefore, やるのを I’ll stop.3

By now, most are probably wondering how I am even …

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food en

Karami: A new product that’s an old Japanese American twist on salsa

Forget Pace Picante Sauce, which used to make a big deal of being made in San Antonio instead of phony salsas made in New York City. Forget San Antonio as well as New York City. Look no further than Pueblo and Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder-based entrepreneur Kei Izawa and his partner, Jason Takaki, are launching a new product this weekend that really isn’t new at all. Karami is a Japanese American twist on salsa that tastes pretty great on a lot of food including chips, meats and fish, but its origins are as a Japanese side dish, the kind you might …

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food en

Cross-Culture A La Carte

Daddy, she said shyly, I don’t feel like cooking this Sunday….

Of course, I answered. Would you like to eat at the cafeteria at Fort Sam?

Oh, I crave for something reallydee-licious, her qualifier for something she would truly enjoy.

Ok, I’ll look for something…we can afford.

“Craving for something dee-licious” was a sophisticated Japanese way to express the need for a little medetai.1 Now, I had to find a place where the four of us, my wife and our two little girls, could have a little enjoyment on …

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migration es

Un Alcalde oriundo de Okinawa

Navigating in a small motorboat without stopping from the town of Pucallpa (located south of Loreto Departamento) up the Ucayali river to the Huanuco Departamento - under normal conditions - takes up to 4 hours to reach the mouth of the Pachitea river and an additional 2 hours furrowing to reach Honoria town.

This town is located on the left bank of the Pachitea river. When I visited for the first time, there were approximately 200 houses with a population of just over 800 inhabitants, back then this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon area was not frequently traveled. …

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food ja pt




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