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Nikkei Names: Writing Workshop in Seattle


Mitsu Beni Akiyama Sundvall

My parents never revealed meaning of my name, except that my 2nd name, Beni is the one my grandfather made up for my mother. Grandpa was a poet, socialist/anarchist (in plot to assassinate emperor) which might account for mom's name Beni, which means red. My big sister's name is Emi/Amy & my three little brothers have totally English names (Kensey, Donald Terrance, & Dennis Richard (mama wanted her boys to have lively Irish personalities (as opposed to quiet Japanese one))

As a child my name was anglicized to Mitsi & I knew when I finished high school I would be my own person & become Mitsu.

I worked in China imports for ten years & the Chinese interpreted my name as Kwan, which means light, & I like that.

Based on this original

Mitsu Beni Akiyama Sundvall
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Photo taken and name story provided on September 20, 2014 at the Wing Luke Museumas a part of Discover Nikkei’s workshop warm-up excercise in conjunction with the Nikkei Names: Taro, … More »

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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation