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What's in a Name

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Joyce Layne

I like my name because it confuses most people!  If they are looking at me and hear my name, they are confused about my identity: who is this Asian person with a non-Asian name!  Of course Layne is my married name.

My parents were Nisei, so they followed a “tradition” here in America by giving me a Western first name and a Japanese middle name.

However, my Issei grandfather chose both my first and middle names.  I feel very honored to have this link with my grandfather.  I didn’t like my middle name, Junko, because most non-Japanese pronounced it “Junk O”.  I avoided using my middle name for many years.  I think my names reflect the multiethnic, multicultural state of “Japanese” Americans today.

Other people may be confused about who we are, but as long as we are secure in our own skins, its fun being “uncategorizable”.  (Is that a new word?)

Based on this original

Story of a Name: Joyce Layne
uploaded by mkochiyama
Joyce Lane August 2011 Photo courtesy of Japanese American National Museum More »

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