The affectations of white anime enthusiasts made me feel fake, confusing my yearning for the language and familiarity I craved.
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.
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.
When he asked me how to say “I love you” in Japanese, I translated linguistically, but mistranslated culturally.
‘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.
To me, ‘daiji’ embodies the struggle to prioritize two languages, homes, and selves.