Satomi Takano Kitahara

Currently is an associate professor for the department of literature at Rio de Janeiro State University. She is also the head of the Japanese language department, as well as the coordinator of the Japan-Brazil Modern Educational Cultural Exchange Program.

A graduate of Tokyo Foreign Language College with a degree in Portuguese and Brazilian language; completed coursework for Tsukuba University’s Master’s Program in International Area Studies—Latin American Studies Course; Nippon Keidanren Ishizaka Memorial Foundation Scholarship recipient; completed coursework for Brasilia University’s Ph.D. Program for Sociology; Doctor of Sociology.

She is a founding member of the Japanese language department at Rio de Janeiro State University, as well as the Hamamatsu City High School’s international class. She has received grants for Japanese Studies from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. She has lived in Brazil for 21 years.

Updated November 2012 

identity en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #3—Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

What It Means to Have a Nikkei Name in Brazil

For over fifteen years, I’ve been teaching Japanese and Japanese culture at university, and today most Brazilian students know that almost all Japanese names have meanings. At the beginning of each semester, I write my name, Satomi, in kanji and tell my students that 聡 means sabedoria (wisdom) and 美 means beleza (beauty). I was even accustomed to explaining the weighty expectations on me from my father. Names become a target of piada Brazilian people love jokes (piada), so you would see even a beautiful lady making a series of old man gag jokes or using old puns. Japanese names can al…

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food en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #1—ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Yaki-Saba Bento and Shime-Saba Sushi

My 17-year old, Brazilian-born son currently attends high school in Florida, and he spends all his time playing competitive golf. With his high school graduation coming up next year, he is entering a crucial time in deciding on which college to attend. As part of that process, he is traveling this summer to compete in junior golf tournaments across North America. Among the preparations we need to make for golf tournaments, the key essentials are securing lodging, transportation, and preparing meals. These days, arranging hotels and rental cars have become quite convenient—from the mom…

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