Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SI KUROKAWA


"KUROKAWA"


Hagåtña. 1930s

Annai på'go manhålom i Hapones* giya Guam
(When the Japanese first came to Guam**)

ma sodda' na siña si tatå-ho fumino' Hapones.
(they discovered that my father could speak Japanese.)

Ti gef mefno'*** gue' gi fino' Hapones lao 
(he wasn't very fluent in the Japanese language but)

hunggan maolek gue' fumino' Hapones.
(yes he was good in speaking Japanese.)

Kontodo i intetprete na Chamorro ni ginen Saipan
(even the Chamorro interpreter from Saipan)

ilek-ña as tatå-ho na maolek gue' gi fino' Hapones.
(told my father that he was good in the Japanese language.)

Taiguine estoriå-ña si tatå-ho.
(My dad's story goes like this.)

Popble familiå-na. Bula famagu'on. Ocho siha na mañe'lo.
(His family was poor. There were many children. There were eight siblings.)

Un dia, ilek-ña si tatan-ñiha, "Annai este un kumple dosse åños,
(One day, their father said, "When you reach 12 years,

debe de un fanaligao che'cho'-mo."
(you should look for work.")

Pues pot i esta ha kumple dosse åños años-ña si tatå-ho,
(So, because my dad already reached the age of 12 years,)

ha a'atan maolek esta måno nai siña gue' mañodda' che'cho'-ña.
(he already looked well where he could find a job.)

Guaha un Hapones, na'ån-ña si Kurokawa, na såstre.
(There was a Japanese, his name was Kurokawa, who has a tailor.)

Ma bababa ha' i gimå'-ña ya ha fåfåna' i chalan 
(His house was open and it faced the street)

nai matå'chong si Kurokawa gi tatten i måkinan manlåkse.
(where Kurokawa sat behind the sewing machine.)

Pues katna kada dia tumotohge si tatå-ho guihe gi me'nan potta
(So almost every day my dad would stand there in front of the door)

ya sige ha' adumiddide' ha håtme i gima' Kurokawa ya umimbilikero gue'
(and little by little he entered Kurokawa's house and nosily looked around.)

Ilek-ña si Kurokawa, "Håfa na sesso hao mågi para un atan todo håfa bidådå-ho?"
(Kurokawa said, "Why do you come here often to look at everything I am doing?")

Pues sinangåne as tatå-ho na ume'eche'cho'.****
(So my dad told him he was looking for work.)

Konfotme si Kurokawa fumanå'gue si tatå-ho manlåkse.
(Kurokawa was willing to teach my dad how to sew.)

Lao, fuera de ennao, ha hokka' si tatå-ho i fino' Hapones
(But, besides that, my dad picked up the Japanese language)

sa', masea siña si Kurokawa fumino' Chamorro,
(because, even though Kurokawa could speak Chamorro,)

lao ya-ña lokkue' kumuentos gi lengguahi-ña.
(but he also liked to speak in his own language.)







Genro Kurokawa's entry in the 1930 Guam Census
(It is mistakenly spelled Kurokaw)





The same 1930 Census showing Kurokawa to be from Japan and a tailor



NOTES


* Hapones - this is the older Chamorro way of saying "Japanese," borrowed from the Spanish word japonés. Modern Chamorros say chapanis, a form of the English word "Japanese."

** She means when the Japanese troops first entered Guam, not when the first Japanese at all came to Guam. That happened long before the war when Japanese agricultural workers came to Guam in the 1800s and later Japanese settlers moved to Guam permanently.

*** Mefno'. It means "eloquent," but also "fluent." It comes from the Chamorro prefix mi (meaning "abundant") and fino' (meaning "word" or "speech"). Mi+fino' become mefno'.

**** Eche'cho'. The Chamorro prefix e means "in search of." Esalappe' means "in search of money." Eche'cho' means "in search of work," and so on.



Kurokawa's ad in the Guam Recorder in 1925

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