Joey Tadashi Furutani

Born and raised in Gardena, California, Joey Tadashi Furutani was a product of the Los Angeles public school system but remained steadfast in his commitment to the JA community. Joey’s involvement in the JA community includes the coordination of a high school conference (2000) on the JA camp experience and field trip to Manzanar (2001) through a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP). Currently, he serves as the Co-Director of Camp Musubi, a weeklong day camp for middle school kids that focuses on JA culture and heritage. Joey graduated from UCLA in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Asian American Studies. He currently is the Account Coordinator at Nakatomi & Associates, a public relations firm in Santa Monica.

Updated May 2008

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Embracing History

From the day I set foot on the campus of UCLA for the first time, I have been mistaken for every ethnicity besides Japanese. As I walk up Bruinwalk on my way to class, I mistakenly get fliers for Samahang Pilipino and Southeast Asian Studies majors. A dark complexion and large eyes must be the misleading features that I possess. Having been involved in an Asian-American fraternity for the past two years, I have had numerous encounters where the mystery of my actual ethnicity is the topic of discussion. When I tell them that I am a fifth-generation Japanese-American, most ...

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