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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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.
In her illness, Korean food was all my Polish-American mom from Jersey wanted to eat. It was all that she could bear.