Preserving traditional Japanese culture

Lack of language skills Having patience in Japan, being both Acculturation Preserving traditional Japanese culture New Year's food Japanese are more accustomed to foreigners

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At the same time, the culture that the Japanese have is something that we really need to preserve and to continue. And I think it’s interesting because a lot of the Japanese Americans – I think they see Japan from the outside at one point and come here and think, “Wow, this is wonderful.” You can see it…well, you’re looking at it like a foreigner but then you feel some connection because you’re…you know you’re Japanese, too. So, like, when you go to Kyoto, you’re like, “Oh, this is Japan.” You see the rock gardens, the serenity in the parks, and then you go to a quiet tea ceremony or you see the geisha or the kimonos walking by. I mean that’s really nice. That’s something you don’t want to be lost.

So how do you…it’s a hard call, you know. Modernization or…we don’t want to live in the past, but I’m trying to get a nice balance between the two. I mean I do kimono, we do ocha, we do tea ceremony, and ikebana – the flower arrangement…but at the same time, where we live is more American style. You have your couch, you have your living room.

Date: September 3, 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Interviewer: Art Nomura
Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

culture FindingHome identity Japan

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

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