Not wanting to stand out as a foreigner

Visiting Japan to study kendo Japanese wife with American citizenship Appreciation of Japanese food Not wanting to stand out as a foreigner Japan vs. Tulsa Oklahoma

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I always had this dream of living abroad in a foreign country since I was in junior high school. And then when I was…originally, I wanted to live in Europe. Then I went to Europe when I was 19. I went for a summer. But I originally intended to go for 3 months. I ended up staying for 6 months. I had a one-year open ticket. I met some people in Germany. They were working for the military and I got a job as a janitor, just running wild – drinking…and they were…one guy was Canadian, two guys from America and I just kind of slept wherever – on the floor in their apartment. I didn’t have a room. I was kind of a bum. That was fun. I had a great time.

But living in Europe for a short time, I realized I didn’t want to live…I wasn’t comfortable in Europe because you stand out. I didn’t like being…like being in America. I don’t like standing out, being targeted with racial epithets and things. So I don’t need that in my life. So living in Japan was much more comfortable when I first came here. It’s that whole point of not standing out, I think, which makes my life comfortable here.

Date: November 11, 2003
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Interviewer: Art Nomura
Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

FindingHome identity migration

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Read the Nikkei Heroes stories and help select the Nima-kai community favorite >>

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