Nikkei Names: Writing Workshop in San Jose


Discover Nikkei presented a free writing workshop on September 21 at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose 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 Susan Ito prepared a warm-up activity and asked participants "Tell us about your names." Check out their responses in this album.

Slides in this album 

Workshop at Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Susan Ito lead a Nikkei Names writing workshop in San Jose, CA on September 21, 2014. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). 

Japanese American Museum in San Jose
Contributed by: editor

Agnes Chizuko Idemoto

Mom & Dad loved music and named me Agnes after their favorite Japanese singer. My middle name Chizuko was shortened during childhood by my grandmother as "Chichan", a term of endearment by family and close friends.

Since high school, Agnes became "Aggie" and stuck for life.

Agnes Chizuko Idemoto
Contributed by: editor

Ben Yoneo Miyaji

After The Karate Kid movie came out, I was called Mr. Miyagi a lot. Even though Miyaji and Miyagi are spelled different and pronounced differently. But, I get Wax On - Wax Off even more. In my various capacities, I wear name tags and when people see my name, a …

Ben Yoneo Miyaji
Contributed by: editor


The origin of my name mostly involves my paternal grandfather. Like many Japanese & Japanese Americans, I inherited my name. The first character (xxx) Toshi is one I have in common with him. I also have an aunto with that character, it spans 3 generations of my family. Will it …

Toshiro Omoto
Contributed by: editor

Susan Kiyo Ito

Susan Kiyo Ito is my second, adoptive name. My original birth name was Kobi Ikuta. When my parents named me, they wanted me to have a common American name. Susan was one of the most popular names of 1959 and throughout school, I was always on of many Susans. I …

Susan Kiyo Ito
Contributed by: editor

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