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Thread: What does 'katonk' mean?

  1. #1
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    Default What does 'katonk' mean?

    Yes, its a word to describe something, not the sound that cartoons make when they get hit by an object.

    I received that word from my english class, and it was from the local book "Tattoo". The teacher said that no one will find it in any dictionary, so I'm hoping someone would help me out.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Mainland Japanese.....Banana....Yellow on the outside...White on the inside

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by doc1456
    Yes, its a word to describe something, not the sound that cartoons make when they get hit by an object.

    I received that word from my english class, and it was from the local book "Tattoo". The teacher said that no one will find it in any dictionary, so I'm hoping someone would help me out.

    katonk
    (kah tonk)

    Definition: Asian American from the continental US
    Used In A Sentence: Michael stay one katonk. Das why he talk l'dat.
    In English?: Michael is from the mainland so he speaks a little differently than we do.

    http://www.e-hawaii.com/fun/pidgin/s...m.asp?letter=K

    from intermediate skool it was referred as a mainland born japanese american...

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinakboy
    katonk
    (kah tonk)

    Definition: Asian American from the continental US
    Used In A Sentence: Michael stay one katonk. Das why he talk l'dat.
    In English?: Michael is from the mainland so he speaks a little differently than we do.

    http://www.e-hawaii.com/fun/pidgin/s...m.asp?letter=K

    from intermediate skool it was referred as a mainland born japanese american...
    Shoot, I forgot about ehawaii. Thanks!
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  5. #5

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    A katonk has trouble understanding pidgin spoken by Hawaii-born Japanese.

    Miulang

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    I always thought it was spelled "kotonk".

  7. #7

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    I think it's "katonk", which is what Mainland born soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought alongside the local Japanese from Hawai'i in the 442nd were called. They have a website: http://www.katonk.com/

    Miulang

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Yeah, that's how da kotonks spell um.

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    but it does reference a sound, supposedly the sound of the mainland japanese head when it hits the wall in a fight with the local japanese I wonder who exactly first coined the phrase, was it born in the internment camps or the 442nd or prior to.
    this space for rent

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by poi cocktail :)
    but it does reference a sound, supposedly the sound of the mainland japanese head when it hits the wall in a fight with the local japanese I wonder who exactly first coined the phrase, was it born in the internment camps or the 442nd or prior to.
    The sound when a mainland Japanese head hits a wall or the floor is "kotonk." If they were wearing a helmet at the time, then it's "katonk."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Of course!

  12. #12

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    And the katonks called Hawaiian Japanese Americans "Buddhaheads" (started out as a slang: "buta" head--or pigheaded, because I guess the local Japanese Americans didn't like taking orders very much)

    Miulang

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    OK, now how about "bobura"? That's another label that gets tossed around along with "buddha-head" and "kotonk", but I have to admit that I am a little hazy on exactly who it's supposed to apply to. Is that a sign that they're all getting old fashioned and going out of use?

  14. #14

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Apparently, "bobora" was used for an FOB Japanese. "Kibei" was a Japanese American who was schooled in Japan.

    Miulang
    Last edited by Miulang; August 12th, 2005 at 03:16 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Miyashiro
    OK, now how about "bobura"? That's another label that gets tossed around along with "buddha-head" and "kotonk", but I have to admit that I am a little hazy on exactly who it's supposed to apply to. Is that a sign that they're all getting old fashioned and going out of use?
    I've never heard that one, but its uh, hearkening up memories of my Vovo who, when she called you a babooz, she was calling you stupid.

    </crosses self, God Blaaass her soul>

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Why I never researched "bobora" before, I don't know. But it seems like it's from the Portuguese word for pumpkin, abóbora. How that came to mean an FOB Japanese, now, I have no clue.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Miyashiro
    Why I never researched "bobora" before, I don't know. But it seems like it's from the Portuguese word for pumpkin, abóbora. How that came to mean an FOB Japanese, now, I have no clue.
    Maybe that's what the Portagee plantation workers called the first Japanese immigrants who came to work in the sugar fields along side them because many Japanese have round faces?

    Miulang
    Last edited by Miulang; August 12th, 2005 at 03:35 PM.

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    I thought the topic was done, but apparently you guys can carry a converstation in just about any thread.

    Carry on!
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by poi cocktail :)

    but it does reference a sound, supposedly the sound of the mainland japanese head when it hits the wall in a fight with the local japanese I wonder who exactly first coined the phrase, was it born in the internment camps or the 442nd or prior to.
    This is the same definition I got from my father who was a member of da WWII 442nd Regimental Combat Team. It's actually da "katonk" sound heard from a local Japanese fist hitting da head of a mainland Japanese. He said that lots of times the local guys would get into beefs with the mainland guys because of the language thing with locals speaking heavy pidgin and the katonks speaking the superior high makamaka perfect English and the locals nevah like when the mainland guys teased or ridiculed them for that reason.

    But when it came down to fighting the real enemy, they all came together as brothers, in life and in death.

    I highly recommend watching the movie "Beyond Barbed Wire" (also available from Netflix) for a more in-depth look. Also, be forwarned...it's a tear-jerker.

  20. #20
    Nobunaga Guest

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    This was from my deceased uncle "Minoru" who served in the 100th Batallion.

    The 100th Batallion was the first fighting force of *Americans of Japanese Ancestry (*AJA) to go to war in Europe. Most of the 100 Batallion were Hawaii AJA.

    When the rest of the 442nd came as replenishments, most of the AJA that came were mainland AJA, who were "green" and didn't know the battlefield strategies well, so basically, they were inexperienced and made a lot of mistakes. When they made their mistakes, (some of them fatal) they were said to have heads that were empty, so if you knocked on their heads, it would have this empty tin can sound. "katonk".

    The word "katonk" now refers to the AJA from the mainland USA.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Katonk & butahead came about during training on the mainland before they went overseas. But thanks for resurrecting this thread. It gave me a chance to fondly remember some of my own relatives who served in the 442nd and are no longer with us.

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    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by localmoco View Post
    Katonk & butahead came about during training on the mainland before they went overseas. But thanks for resurrecting this thread. It gave me a chance to fondly remember some of my own relatives who served in the 442nd and are no longer with us.
    And "thank you" to those men of principle.
    Peace, Love, and Local Grindz

    People who form FIRM opinions with so little knowledge only pretend to be open-minded. They select their facts like food from a buffet. David R. Dow

  23. #23
    Nobunaga Guest

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by localmoco View Post
    Katonk & butahead came about during training on the mainland before they went overseas. But thanks for resurrecting this thread. It gave me a chance to fondly remember some of my own relatives who served in the 442nd and are no longer with us.
    My late uncle Minoru was nicnamed "Ji san" because he was the oldest Nisei in "C" Company in the 100th Batallion. During his last years, he rented an apartment from "Club 100" near the Alawai Canal, or Iolani School. I used to go to the Club 100 to see my uncle, and they always had a daily poker game going on there. I didn't play with them, so I don't know what stakes they were playing. The only nickname I remember was "Beefa". I guess he would be long gone by now too.

    As to the origin of the word, I am sure there are many stories about it. Uncle Minoru never told me about any fighting between the locals and katonks, but he did tell me the katonks did not honor our one for all, all for one attitude when it came to fist fighting in this country.

  24. #24
    sansei Guest

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    hi my deceased father was part of the 442nd 522 club and he was in the field artillery in the front line's and he was a seargent and he also knew the mainland japanese american's as kotonk's and he also say's that he did make joke's on his comarade's and he played joke's on the african american's in his troupe and he only meant to do it to humor his troop's and not doing anything unkind,he even joked with them.

    his humor was out of the ordinary only he meant no harm.

    my father was a disiplinary person in our family since i didnt follow his rule's.he disciplined me since i wasnt a good youth only he did it to save me from being 6 feet under or worse.im glad my parent's helped me and in my father's time when he was slowy passing.i had a long talk and most of it was my error's and he and i forgave one another and he also shared that if i didnt do what was right he'd come back and haunt me so i do right by keeping my promise to watch over my mom and be in his place by helping our family.

    that's tmi only that's how my deceased father was in his troupe.


    well thank's for your time

  25. #25
    Nobunaga Guest

    Default Re: What does 'katonk' mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by sansei View Post
    hi my deceased father was part of the 442nd 522 club and he was in the field artillery in the front line's and he was a seargent and he also knew the mainland japanese american's as kotonk's and he also say's that he did make joke's on his comarade's and he played joke's on the african american's in his troupe and he only meant to do it to humor his troop's and not doing anything unkind,he even joked with them.

    his humor was out of the ordinary only he meant no harm.

    my father was a disiplinary person in our family since i didnt follow his rule's.he disciplined me since i wasnt a good youth only he did it to save me from being 6 feet under or worse.im glad my parent's helped me and in my father's time when he was slowy passing.i had a long talk and most of it was my error's and he and i forgave one another and he also shared that if i didnt do what was right he'd come back and haunt me so i do right by keeping my promise to watch over my mom and be in his place by helping our family.

    that's tmi only that's how my deceased father was in his troupe.


    well thank's for your time
    I had a very good friend, Guy Koga, (deceased) who was at one time the president of the sons and daughters of the 442. He was the son of the late "Smitty Koga". I also used to go to the Club 442 by the old Honolulu Stadium Park to see him. Where I live, I have a good friend who is still living, who was in artillery in the 442.

    My late dad volunteered to serve in WW II, but was turned down because he was married and had my sister. Going by some of the stories my uncle Minoru told me, I am very glad my dad was turned down. About 2/3 of the 442 earned Purple Hearts, and because of discrimination, only one of the 442 was awarded a Medal of Honor during the war. AFTER the war, some of the Silver Stars were upgraded to Medals of Honor, or at least that is what I was told.

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