As a typical Nikkeijin of third generation born in Brazil, I grew up surrounded by kanji at home and events of the Japanese community. But kanji, like the Japanese language itself, meant those were codes shared between adults and were not necessarily passed down to us children. When I saw the back of a key ring holder an aunt had just brought to me as a souvenir from Okinawa, our prefecture of origin, the 県 kanji soon caught my 8-year-old attention by its funny shape. I immediately grabbed a pencil and a piece of paper, replicated it in my own ways and asked my parents in front of our visiting aunt what I had then written. Everybody “laughed” in admiration of the self initiative and I felt validated. They explained that it was a part of the whole name of the Okinawa prefecture and they encouraged me to write the full name. I thought the challenge started ok as 沖 seemed easy enough. But 縄 was like climbing Mount Fuji for someone taking the first baby steps in becoming acquainted with and becoming aware of all those kanji and kana on the various books on the shelves of our living room. At various speeds, it would still take me decades to learn many others more since that moment of awakening. But, no other kanji will ever have more emotional impact on me than 県. For immediately growing in me the wish to crack that “adult code” and learn how to read/write/speak Japanese, whilst reassuring my parents they would not be imposing the teaching of a language just because they wanted to. For connecting me with my primal roots not only as a Japanese Brazilian but also as an Okinawa descendent. For instilling in me the curiosity of always discovering something new and for showing me we will never know everything. In sum, for making me grow. Also, thank you Joy o’Kanji for asking which kanji is my favourite. I had never been asked before such a deeply emotional and introspective question on kanji!