Troy Ishikawa

Troy Ishikawa is an Interculturalist whose process training and consulting practice specializes in problem solving cultural differences in behaviors, norms, and values. His practice concentrates in deconstructing logic sequences for cross-cultural transferability and culture equivalencies. He is also a writer and gives presentations of his family history and stories that pertain to the Nikkei experience. He is a member of the Kagoshima Heritage Club, enjoys global travel, hiking, learning, and cooking ethnic and pan-Asian cuisines.

Updated October 2011

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Coming of Age in San Francisco’s Nihonmachi: How My Parents Met, Married, and Moved - Part 1 of 3

Every young generation creates their own halcyon days; my parents’ generation was no exception. They came of age during the 1930s and ‘40s in San Francisco’s Nihonmachi. They met outside at a car garage in Japan Town in 1938, married by eloping to Reno in 1940, and moved briefly to the Salinas Assembly Center (a.k.a. Salinas Rodeo Grounds) after the beginning of WWII in 1942 (where this story ends).

This California Japantown story is primarily about my father, Roy Ishikawa and his return to the U.S. in 1933, more precisely to San Francisco’s “Nihonmachi” after ...

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Retracing Part of my Family’s Roots in the Shadow of Sakurajima: Part 2

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We drive around to a remodeled housing track where once quaint one-story Japanese farmhouses have been replaced with two-story mansions. Did everyone strike money? Aunt Nobu-san still resides in a traditional farmhouse framed with the blue tile roof. She was eating a meal and told us that she was 80-years old. We felt a bit uncomfortable crowding around her entrance. I’m trying to soak in everything, looking for clues as to who this relative was. I spot a calendar hanging on the wall and lots of other knick-knacks, but the natural lighting made it difficult to ...

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Retracing Part of My Family’s Roots in the Shadow of Sakurajima: Part 1

Mesmerized by Sakurajima, a majestic symmetrical-shaped volcano whose seductive plume obscures the top of this mountain crater, I wonder what mysteries may lie hidden beneath. Could one of the many stories revealed under the plume’s shadow contain my mother’s family ancestors?

Researching for part of my family’s roots involved a bit of detective work, a lot of patience and a quick prayer or two to find long “lost” relatives in Japan’s Satsuma region. My story has many beginnings. I’m reminded of what the English novelist John Galsworthy once said, “The beginnings … of all human undertakings ...

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