Tuesday, March 03, 2009

my middle name is...

Do you have a middle name? I'm sure most of you do. Native Japanese do not and are surprised that we, Japanese Americans do.

Most Japanese American first names are English and their middle names are Japanese and come directly from their grandparents, or is a combination of both grandparents names, or a Japanese name that their parents like.

Some Japanese Americans that I know don't have Japanese middle names but English or Hawaiian middle names...I guess it all depends on what your parents, grandparents decide.

Anyway, today is Girl's Day in Japan, but in Hawaii it is the memorial of my Grandpa's passing. I can't believe that it is 9 years since he's been gone and I wanted to share with you a little story.

When I was in elementary, my cousin and I were at her neighbor's house (I can't remember why we was there but I think her neighbor was watching us) and she made us tuna with kim chee sandwiches for lunch.

She toasted the bread, spread the tuna on and then added the won bok kim chee. At first I thought, this is a weird combination (I was a picky eater back then), but when I tasted it, it was delicious.

A few months later, when I visited my grandparents, we were having tuna sandwiches for lunch. I told my grandpa he should add some kim chee to his sandwich, so he did. After one bite, he said, "your middle name must be "eat""...I guess he liked it too.

Miss you Grandpa!

18 comments:

islegrl said...

Awww...what a cute story! I've never tried a tuna and kimchi sandwich but, it does sound good. Kimchi goes great with lots of foods, even on top of hamburgers! :D

shar said...

What a lovely memory of your Grandpa !
Its memories like this that makes life so very special...

Katie said...

Hey Kat! I'm an avid reader, first time commenter of your blog. I'm so envious of all the yummy food~ Food is one of my top 3 reasons that I love going to Japan.
I'm one of the Japanese-Americans with a Japanese middle name (Rei, btw). I actually have the same middle name as my mom who in turn got it from my grandma (her name is Reiko) and I think I'll pass it on to my future daughter as well. A majority of my JA friends have Japanese middle names, though I have one with a Japanese first name and an American middle name.
Mmm, the sandwich actually looks and sounds pretty good~
Sorry for the long comment. LOL

K and S said...

Thanks Islegrl, I will try it on hamburgers :)

Thanks Shar, it sure does!

Thanks for delurking Katie and taking the time to comment!

Take care everyone.
Kat

bourgogne said...

hmm. kim chee in sandwiches. sounds good to me! my nephew's gf's name is kim and her middle name is chee (i'm not kidding!)

i don't have a middle name, which is probably a good idea since my last name AND my married name are impossible for most people to pronounce (including me). it would just be plain cruel to throw in a middle name...

K and S said...

That is interesting and cool about your nephew's GF, Bourgogne, I agree your last name is hard to pronounce (spell) :)

Take care.
Kat

OkiHwn said...

Us pakes have four names. Chinese family name, two Chinese middle names and an English first name. In Chnia they would have only three, no English.

Reason for the two middle names is that's how you tell your line or family. Boys and girls would be different.

Brothers in the family have the same first Chinese one with a different second one. Like one of a set of cousins all have You for the first and then Bung, Mun, Tong, Kin, Moon, Fong. They all have an English name too. But of course their nicknames became Bungie, Munny, Tongie, Kinney, Moonie and Fongie.

For me I am the only boy but my first is Ghin. My two sisters have thw same first one - Yuk. One is Yuk Ha, the other is yuk Ngan.

Debinhawaii said...

Great story about your grandpa and the sandwich looks good too. ;-)

K and S said...

Yeah my Chinese American friends have 2 middles names, Nate. Thanks for explaining that.

Take care.
Kat

K and S said...

Thanks Deb :)

Take care.
Kat

tofugirl said...

That's a really cute story about your grandpa! How lucky to have such nice memories :)

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - Such a cute story about your Jichan. I too have a Japanese middle name. It's all vowels so no one except Japanese can pronounce it.

Rowena said...

What a sweet walk down memory lane...those little moments are the greatest...and also the idea of adding kimchee to my next tuna sandwich!

Jenster said...

I have a Chinese middle name that's a two-parter. I never thought of it as being two Chinese names...

Both my kids have a two-part Chinese name as their middle names, too. Since they're last name is of Swedish origin (from my husband) we thought it would be good if their middle names reflected their Asian halves.

I have tuna fish, bread and kim chee and you have just given me an excellent idea for lunch today. Thanks!

K and S said...

Thanks Tofugirl!

Hmm I'm trying to think of what your middle name could be Kirkk...

Thanks Rowena, hope you like it!

Thanks Jenster, I hope you like it too!

Take care everyone.
Kat

Lynne said...

My grandfather's parents immigrated from Hungry to the US. My grandfather did not have a middle name either.

Pandabonium said...

I'm not a big kim chee fan, but that sandwich sounds good. Maybe I'll try that with my tofu burger.

K and S said...

That is very interesting Lynne!

I hope you like it PB!

Take care you two.
Kat