Lila Klopfenstein

Lila is a recent graduate from the College of Idaho, living and working in Nagasaki Japan. She loves running, hiking, and swimming.

Updated July 2018

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Nikkei Chronicles #7—Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

Becoming Half

My mother is Japanese and my father is American. I am half-Japanese. Ha-fu. Some people dispute this term. They call mixed-race people ‘doubles’, to reflect that fact that both ethnicities exist at once. I do not identify as ‘double’. I identify as American. I know nothing else. My Japanese half is a hazy cloud of Japanese TV shows, the smell of tatami and fish, and a smattering of random words, all of which were slowly fading from memory. The older I became, the more empty-space filled the Japanese half of me. So, I moved to Japan.

After moving …

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