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Nikkei Chronicles #5—Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture

Bastos' Nikkei-go

Rosa Tomeno Takada

Koná goroshono tyomém shensheiga kawashita – would any Nikkei understand this sentence? It is a mixture of dialect and a word in Portuguese, but with a Japanese pronunciation, the translation of which would be: The teacher ordered the purchase of a thick notebook. Normally I introduce myself as a native …

Oshogatsu: memories of my childhood

Rosa Tomeno Takada

My father came as an immigrant at the age of 16 with the family that adopted him, as he was a minor and needed to come as a member of another family. At that time, immigrants were treated like slaves. I heard that many fled or died. I don't know …

Nikkei Chronicles #3—Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

The importance of first and last name

Rosa Tomeno Takada

In my hometown, Bastos, which is the most Japanese of Brazil's cities, women up to my age group were educated to leave their family surname and adopt their husband's surname when they got married. I also accepted this naturally. I remember parents cried when their daughter got married and celebrated …

Nikkei Chronicles #3—Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

Names and their implications

Rosa Tomeno Takada

The surname DOI in Portuguese means itai, itamu , that is, “it hurts”, “to hurt”. I had a friend whose name was KUMEO. In fact, there are many Japanese names and surnames that begin with KU, for example, KUBOTA, KUJIKEN, which are a source of ridicule, as it is known …

Nikkei Chronicles #3—Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

My name is Tomeno

Rosa Tomeno Takada

Tomeno is my Japanese name. Unusual name. I found another like it only once in my life, a long time ago, on a newspaper page that reported the death of an elderly woman. This name of mine was a laughing stock when I was a teenager, because it sounds like …

Nikkei Chronicles #1—ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Ofukuro no aji: Mrs. Shizuka’s cassava misoshiru

Rosa Tomeno Takada

My mother came to Brazil when she was three years old and since childhood learned to eat all that nature could offer, already being able to tell what was edible. Even geckos, nine-banded armadillos; in short, just about anything that appeared in front of her. She was married at the …

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Nasci e cresci em Bastos, onde falar e ouvir japonês era uma coisa natural. Havia até o "bastosgô", uma mistura de dialetos do Japão com o português.
Eu fiz japonês pelo método Kumon para incentivar meus filhos a estudarem também, mas hoje esqueci muitos "kanjis" e não consigo mais escrever nem ler fluentemente.
Meu neto Thomas começou a ter aulas de "nihongo" e meus outros netos também falam algumas palavras, o que me deixa muito feliz.

I was born and raised in Bastos [small town in the interior of São Paulo state], where hearing and speaking Japanese was commonplace. There was even the “bastosgô,” a mixture of Japanese dialects and Portuguese.
I learned Japanese using the Kumon method so as to motivate my children to study it as well. But I’ve forgotten many “kanjis” and now I can neither write nor read with fluency. My grandson Thomas has started taking “nihongo” lessons, and my other grandchildren are also able to speak a few words, which makes me very happy.

Intereses Nikkei

  • historias de comunidades
  • festivales/matsuri
  • japonesa/comida nikkei
  • Japantowns
  • taiko

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