Why use a fork? - the daily diet of a hapa Nisei Nikkei who doesn't like to be called that


I recently had an epiphany-like moment while eating a street taco in Boyle Heights that I had an eclectic multicultural daily life. I live in a nearly all-Japanese tenant apartment building (5 out of 6) with my Japanese mother in the predominantly Hispanic Boyle Heights. For breakfast, I will usually have rice and miso that my mom made the night before or bread from the Chinese bakery Kelley's in Monterey Park; for lunch, seaweed salad, broiled salmon, and rice my mom packed for me, and if I'm lucky, Trader Joe's hummus and pita chips to snack on; and for dinner, King Taco tacos if I come home late. I wanted to capture some of my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners through digital photography so I did. It's on ongoing work in progress. Through this process of eating and documenting, I ask myself if anything "ethnic" in the United States loses its authenticity. For example: Is Japanese food in the U.S. less Japanese? Does my being half Japanese make my experience of eating Japanese food less authentic (as opposed to someone whose parents are both of Japanese descent)? Enjoy. Feel free to share your comments. -- Victoria Kraus --

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vkraus — Last modified Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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