Feeling closer to Japan as a Japanese American

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I think because of the fact that I could speak Japanese, I could read Japanese and write Japanese, when I was in Japan I felt somewhat closer to them than to the Americans. We had American partners, and belonged to the Tokyo American club, and there we associated with only Americans. But while associating and working with the Japanese and speaking Japanese with them, I felt very close and part of Japan. Not that I was Japanese but I felt fortunate that I was an American. That I was able to deal with the Japanese in their own term, which is their language. That was something that I felt very strongly because not knowing the language of a foreign country, the country you’re in, is a great, great disadvantage. That’s why the American partners in our firm were not that effective in Japan.

Date: May 29, 2006
Location: Hawai`i, US
Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Japan Japanese language

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Submissions accepted until September 30.

Read the Nikkei Heroes stories >>

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

Major support by The Nippon Foundation