Nikkei Names: Writing Workshop in Burnaby, BC

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Discover Nikkei presented a free writing workshop on July 26 at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in conjunction with annual writing series called Nikkei Chronicles #3: Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João? to explore what your name says about you and the origins of Nikkei names. 

Before the workshop, the instructor Tamiko Nimura prepared a warm-up activity and asked participants "Tell us about your names."  Check out their responses in this album.

Slides in this album 

Tamiko Nimura Leading the Workshop

Tamiko Nimura, a Sansei/Pinay writer, lead a Nikkei Names writing workshop in Burnaby, B.C, Canada on July 26, 2014. 

Nikkei Names Workshop in Vancouver
Contributed by: editor

Frances Dexin Huang

I spent $400 US to have my legal name above changed from:  Indonesian : Ambarsai Natawidjaja.  I kept my original Chinese name:  (Mandarin) Huang.  De-Xin黄徳馨 (Hok-kiam)  Oei Tek – Hing

Frances Dexin Huang
Contributed by: editor

Tatsuo Kage

Tatsu means attainment or reaching.  “O” is a common ending of man’s name.  When I was small, I was called “Tacchan” – a nickname of Tatsuo.  My last name is an unusual one.  Kage is a kind of horses – usual horse brown color with a bit of black (nose …

Tatsuo Kage
Contributed by: editor

Tosh Kitagawa

My surname “Kitagawa” I’m told means North River.  I really think it means Mighty River, which is more in line with my personality.

Tosh Kitagawa
Contributed by: editor

Tamiko Fiona Nimura

I was named by my uncle Sumito.  He chose the kanji for my name – you can write it a few ways, but he chose this: 

多 Ta (much)
美 mi (beauty)
子 ko (child)

My parents have always told me it means “most beautiful child.”  I have allowed one …

Tamiko Fiona Nimura
Contributed by: editor

Sanzalone

My last name is Sanzalone.  It is Italian, specifically from Southern Italy.  It is not that common, but it is familiar as Italian, especially because it has a ‘z’.  Having a ‘z’ in your name is difficult because it is pronounced differently in the US and Canada.  It is easy …

Sanzalone
Contributed by: editor

Nichola Ogiwara

I always wonder why there is a ‘h” in my name.  Even my mother who put it there doesn’t know.  In France, Nichola is a boy’s name.  Ogiwara is often mistaken with Hagiwara in Japan.  This unfortunately continued even after the famous Ogiwara ski jumper brothers at the Nagano Olympics.  …

Nichola Ogiwara
Contributed by: editor

Lorene Oikawa

My family on my father’s side were fishers and boat builders.  I think it’s appropriate that Oikawa means big river.  At least that’s what I remember when I was a child when I asked what does Oikawa means.  My father’s side of the family came in 1906 on a ship …

Lorene Oikawa
Contributed by: editor

Lisa Kiyomi Uyeda

My full name is Lisa Kiyomi Uyeda.  My first name was given to me by my parents, but my middle name was carefully selected for me by my dear Bachan.  When I was born, my Bachan approached my parents and stated she would be selecting my Japanese name.  After thinking …

Lisa Kiyomi Uyeda
Contributed by: editor

Keiko Mary Kitagawa

My parents gave all six of their children Japanese and non-Japanese names.  They called my siblings by their Japanese name except me.   I was always Mary to them.  My Japanese name comes from the Japanese word, Megumu.

Keiko Mary Kitagawa
Contributed by: editor

Celia Sumiko

My first name – I was named after my Great Great Grandma, who was named Marcelia (on my dad’s side).  My middle name – I was also named after my great Uncle Sumito (on my mom’s side).

Celia Sumiko
Contributed by: editor


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