I’m American, but my home is Japan

Growing up in a Japanese American family The reason for coming to Japan Sudden acceptance in Japanese society Tracing my family crest Disadvantages of looking Japanese Ring name: "Yamato Damashi" I’m American, but my home is Japan Citizenship and identity

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I’m American. I live in Japan. I love Japan. I love the Japanese people. I love the Japanese beliefs—the way they’re very honest, they’re loyalty. But I don’t know what it is. I’m American, and I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to be a part of the United States. And I’d die for the country. And I couldn’t say I would be able to go into the military here and die for Japan. So that way, I’d say I’m American.

This is my home. It’s weird. It’s like I’m being hypocrite about everything. This is my home. I have a house here. My family’s here. I have a dog. I have three cars here. Everything’s set here. I go home to Hawaii, I don’t feel like I live there. I don’t feel like I belong there. I feel like I’m a outsider.

I see that Hawaii style, that American style, and I don’t like it. We drive to the gasoline stand, and we go to full service and they look at me like, “Why are you guys driving full service? Go self?” It’s like they come walking out like, “Huh.” And you come to Japan, there’s no tip in this country. They come out running, “Thank you for coming to our stand.” They’re wiping our window, doing everything they can for the car. So I love that. I love Japan. It’s my home.

But I’m…if you have to put it down simply, I’m American with Japanese blood living in Japan and taking the country as his home. And in a sentence, if you want to phrase Enson Inoue, that’s what I would say.

Date: October 14, 2003
Location: Saitama, Japan
Interviewer: Art Nomura
Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

FindingHome identity japan

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

The Nippon Foundation