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  • Ken Shem

I want my grandchildren to be able to communicate in Japanese.

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Today, I spoke with Ms. Itakura, who came to the U.S. from Yokohama 40 years ago and now lives in San Jose. She’s pictured here with our Secretary, Joe. Here is a summary of our interview, translated from Japanese.



Language is a very important tool, and I feel that the Japanese language helps to pass on the Japanese way of thinking. There are nuances of Japanese that cannot be expressed in English. For example, Japanese people say rain is falling “shitoshito” (しとしと) which is equivalent to “drizzling” in English, but the English word “drizzle” cannot express the mood and the emotion that is in the word “shitoshito” (しとしと) in Japanese. Japanese traditions that I want younger generations to pass on are politeness, being on time, and being respectful.

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