切ない (Setsunai): When You Need a Word to Hold Both Sorrow and Joy
‘Setsunai’ implies something once bright, now faded. It is the painful twinge at the edge of a memory, the joy in the knowledge that everything is temporary.
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Hafu carries insinuations of otherness; of not belonging, but being fetishized. How do I carry this name and this history at once?
Nukumori can refer to a kind of existence not dependent on physical proximity, allowing a person’s presence to linger with you even if they cannot.
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As a mother, I’ve had to ask myself: What would never getting an answer, or even no longer expecting an answer, look like?
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.