大塚美那

(おおつか・みな)

Mina Otsuka is a Japanese translator and writer. She earned a BA in Literary Journalism from the University of California, Irvine. Besides work and occasional translation projects, she enjoys listening to music (of any kind) and playing the guitar.

Updated November 2014 

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

Does a Name Have Any Power?

A few years ago, I was working at a company in Tokyo and had a chance to be a conversational partner of some Japanese English learners. If it had been a job at a regular English school (or an eikaiwa—English conversation—school), I would not have gotten the opportunity in the first place, mainly becau…

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

Japanese or American? Let me decide who I am!

You’re bilingual! Hey I wanna hear you speak English! Can you say something in English?

Here in Japan, my English stands out as a skill that’s still “rare” enough to get people’s attention, both among my close Japanese friends and total strangers whenever I throw out random English w…

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Becoming American: What America Taught Me

There is a clear difference between Japanese Americans and the Japanese in America. I myself was not aware of this difference at first. At the age of sixteen, I moved to the US with my family. Being an adolescent was difficult enough, yet I had to say goodbye to every piece of what seemed like a perfectly peacefu…

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Remembering Fred Korematsu

I came across an interview clip on YouTube about one Japanese TV drama titled “Japanese-Americans: Ninety-Nine Years of Love.” The story featured the history of Japanese-Americans, focusing on the first and second generation Japanese immigrants, one of the first groups of Japanese who moved to America…

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