In Immigrating from Japan, I Lost Language, Home, and Pokémon
Maybe, I thought, I could play Pokémon with my peers and bridge the gap between me and my an all-white classroom. But we lose things in translation.
Detective Pikachu Detective Pikachu
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Esther, you are a queen not because of your physical perfection, but because of the horror and rage you transformed it into.
While Ruth’s words— “where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay”—made for a heart-stilling pseudomarital vow, I was not selfless enough to promise the same.
There is a part of me, even after so many iterations of faith and years of living in an adult body, that is waiting for punishment, waiting to be banished from the Garden.
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To me, ‘daiji’ embodies the struggle to prioritize two languages, homes, and selves.
When he asked me how to say “I love you” in Japanese, I translated linguistically, but mistranslated culturally.
Hafu carries insinuations of otherness; of not belonging, but being fetishized. How do I carry this name and this history at once?