Jayme Tsutsuse

Jayme Tsutsuse, a recent graduate from the University of Southern California, is finishing her year on the JET Programme in Kyoto Prefecture. She was involved USC’s Hapa Japan Festival in 2013 as a lead volunteer coordinator and is the founder of Cross-Cultural Kansai, a community group based in Kyoto, Japan that brings people from a variety of backgrounds together to discuss and celebrate global identities. In the fall, she is moving to New York City and is seeking new opportunities in writing and journalism.

Updated August 2014

identity en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #3 — Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

Re-Discovering My Name Between Two Cultures

I was born in Hawaiʻi to a Yonsei Japanese-American father and an Irish-American mother who gave me the name Jayme Tsutsuse. Even though Japanese names are common in Hawaiʻi, the name Tsutsuse is rare, and not just in Hawaiʻi or America, but also in Japan. In fact, through all my research, I’ve yet to find a Tsutsuse family line besides my own. I’d even venture to say that I’m the only Tsutsuse currently living in Japan.

Anyone unfamiliar with Japanese will often get tongue tied between the two t’s and three s’s of Tsutsuse. I ...

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