Between

Speaking of kids caught between cultures, my own story on the topic is now up at Literary Mama .

This morning when I dropped Jio off at school, one of his friends asked me why, since he was born in America, Jio could speak Japanese. I tried to explain that Jio was born in Japan – in Tokushima, in fact, at the same hospital where many of his classmates were born – and that he is Japanese, but the kid wasn’t buying it. He kept calling Jio a gaikokujin. I assured Jio that he is indeed Japanese. I hope that’s enough for now.

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4 thoughts on “Between

  1. Suzanne:

    I found your name in JSelect and then did a Web search for you and
    found your blog, plus your email address.

    I’m also an American woman (from Boston) and a writer engaged to a
    “chonan” in Osaka. I live part-time in Osaka and part-time in Boston,
    which my career as a writer and part-time literature/writing prof. allows
    me to do (although my sweetie cannot come back and forth with
    me).

    If you’re willing, I’d love to keep in touch. I’m interested in what
    it’s been like for you keeping your career going while in Japan, since
    I’m just starting the bi-continental experience this year. (My fiance lived
    with me in Boston for a year but had to return to Osaka last spring.)

    Anway, here’s the Web site of a literary series that I run in Boston
    when I’m there, plus my email address. Pls. let me know if you’d like
    to keep in touch:

    http://fourstories.org
    tracy@fourstories.org

    Warm regards–sayonara!

    Tracy

  2. Oops- sorry. I wanted to add something, but I didn’t realize it would leave a record of my original post up there. Anyway, what I wanted to say:

    Beautiful story, Suzanne.

    I tried to pull up the Blogger help page on doing hyperlinks, but it came up for me in Spanish so I won’t send it. It’s really easy, though– just highlight the word you want the link to be under, and then click on the little globe icon thing on top of the editing box (the one right after the b and i buttons.) It will prompt you for the URL.

    By the way, The snow in Japan has been getting a fair amount of airtime on the news here. Are you affected by it? We’re going to the village this weekend so the kids can see snow, but there won’t be more than a few centimeters…

  3. Thanks, Kate. You’re right – it was really easy! And thanks for reading my story. We don’t have any snow here, but it’s pretty darn cold – 7 degrees Centigrade in this room when I wake up.

  4. Hi!

    I loved your story. It made me cry. I live in Tokushima too, and I have a three month old girl. I’m going back to work tomorrow and leaving her at home with her dad – he’s taken two months off work to take care of her. Then she’ll start hoikuen in April. When we went to the hoikuen interview, the kids all called her gaikokujin, and one girl stuck her head in the stroller and smelled her! Then said ‘I knew it! She even smells different!’
    *sigh*

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