Not too long ago, my son identified almost solely as Japanese.  Once, when I suggested he eat corn on the cob with butter and salt, a la americaine, he refused, saying rather haughtily, “Japanese don’t eat corn like that.”  And when exasperated with the amount of homework I oversee each evening I suggested moving to the States where the load is not quite so heavy, my son became panicky and wild-eyed.

Well, now Jio is going through an American phase.  He says that George Washington is his favorite president, and he’d like to see Miley Cyrus in concert.  He often brings up anecdotes from his last visit to South Carolina, and frequently evokes his slightly older cousin.  He says that he can’t wait to go to America this summer, which I am happy to hear, and that he is even a bit “America-sick” (as opposed to homesick).

I know that for kids like mine, identity is a moving target, but for the moment I’m enjoying his interest in my country’s culture.


3 thoughts on “America-sick

  1. First, congratulations on the new book!
    Second, in a few months, my husband (who is Japanese) and I are headed to Japan for a “family sabbatical” of sorts. Ultimately we may extend our stay, but for now, we’re planning a 9 month stay. We’re taking our 5 month old daughter with us and despite the fact that I’ve visited maybe a dozen times and I’m thrilled we’re doing this, I expect the culture shock for me to be significant (especially when raising a child brings its own surprises). I love your “America-sick” post as it illustrates the kind of things we might see in our own future. Were there any books that you read before moving to Japan that you would recommend as relevant/helpful/interesting? Thanks!

  2. I was single and in my twenties when I moved to Japan, so my interests were a little different than they are now. I read a lot of Japanese novels by famous male writers, because that’s about all that was available then.

    You could start by reading my books – Losing Kei and The Broken Bridge – for a view of expat life. 😉 Also, I love the novels Ash by Holly Thompson and Dianne Highbridge’s In the Empire of Dreams and the short story collection Green Tea to Go by Leza Lowitz.

    My next anthology – Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering – will be out in May 2009.

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