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First visit to Japan

Kristi Yamaguchi talks about what she felt when she first visited Japan and met relatives in her ancestral homeland. View Kristi Yamaguchi’s full profile.

  • SRunyon

    The Japanese people can always immediately tell if someone is not Japanese because of simple things like body language and style of clothing, even if the person is of Japanese heritage. Despite the veneer of polite reaction, those raised elsewhere are never fully considered/accepted as Japanese.

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    There will always be those who seek reasons to exclude. Ms. Yamaguchi’s personal accomplishments and her graciousness merit acceptance in any culture. Any nation would be proud to claim her as their own.

  • Lycenius

    My wife is 3rd generation Japanese American, yet neither she, nor her parents have ever been to Japan. The thought of not being fully welcomed by the Japanese (and stories of cousins that went there and ran in to the reality), have kept them from going. I think the feeling is that if you left “home”, you have somehow lost any connection to being Japanese. They just then don’t know how to relate. Still, sometime I’m going to take my Hapa sons, who don’t have strong Japanese features, so shouldn’t be viewed as “you look like us, why can’t you speak like us?”, and the experience may be different.

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