Coming into Japanese Culture and Heritage

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I went to Japan between my first and second year of college. I went on an exchange program with Keio University and I spent the summer in Japan. […] When I came back—I didn’t really have a major before that, at one point I wanted to be an architect. When I came back, it became very important to me to study Japanese, which I did, Japanese language. And the focus in my history degree was on [East] Asian history. And that was very, very important for me to get a sense of what my background was all about, and that became a very important sort of focus in my life. In fact, when—it was important for me to have a real sense of my Japanese heritage. I mean, when we were here in LA, in the ’50s, we were—every summer—my sister, my cousins, we all danced in the Nisei Week ondo, we went to Little Tokyo... But to get more to the heart of what it was to be Japanese and my heritage took my having to go to Japan at that age—I guess I was about 18 or 19—so that was a very critical experience for me.

Date: July 10, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Lawrence Lan
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

cultural heritage cultural identity study abroad

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