Japanese-Spanish Community Spotlight

This is the fourth installment of a spotlight series featuring members of our community with connections to both Spanish and Japanese.

Luis Yamamoto
Child at McDonald Int'l: Naomi (K Sp)

I was born in Lima, Peru.  My paternal grandparents came to Peru from Kochi and Kobe in Japan.  On my mother's side, my grandfather immigrated from Hiroshima.  My maternal grandmother was born in Hawaii and raised in Sacramento but had returned to Hiroshima to complete her education.  When she was there she met my grandfather (who had returned from Lima to look for a wife).  All of them arrived in Lima after WWI in the 1920s and they started small businesses.

During WWII, they had to go underground to avoid being deported to U.S. internment camps.  As a child, my grandparents took care of me while my parents worked.  I was sent to Japanese school and played on the local Japanese Little League baseball team. During the 1980s terrorist era in Peru, my parents decided to continue their post-graduate education in Belgium, where I grew up until I left for college in Kansas. That's is where I met my wife who was studying Spanish and Latin American studies at the time.

Most of my family lives in Peru now, which is why we wanted our daughter, Naomi, to be in the Spanish program.  We chose her first name in part because it is pronounced the same in Japanese, Spanish and English.  Naomi took Japanese after school last fall and we love the school's multi-cultural community in and out of the classroom.

Back to: McDonald Elementary News

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