A little bit about me

Voice Card  -  Volume 20  -  Yumi Card Number 6  -  Sat, May 11, 1991 8:28 PM

Since the only two people who really know me at all are Drury and now John, I guess it would be nice if I let you all know a little bit about myself.

I was born and raised in San Jose, CA. I am a Japanese-American who could be classified as a Yonsei (fourth generation) or a Nissei (Second generation).

My maternal great-grandparents were among the first Japanese immigrants. I believe my great-grandmother was a "picture bride". My grandmother was born in California and was the oldest of 7. As a result when she turned 18 she was sent back to Japan and was married through an arranged marrage. My mother was born in Formosa, (Taiwan) which was occupied by the Japanese at the time. My grandfather was killed in the Phillipines during WWII. My Grandmother returned to the United States after WWII with my mother, Aunt and Uncle when my mother was about 15. My grandmother maintained her American citizenship, but my mother was a Japanese citizen.

Oddly enough, in many ways my mother is more traditional than my grandmother. My father was a college exchange student from Japan who decided to stay. He is a typical Issei (first generation) man.

You may wonder why I explain my ancestral past in such detail. Over the years, I have come to realize that my heritage has a great deal to do with the person that I am today. As a child I was proud to be Japanese, but I also longed to have what I believed to be the ideal the family life. I longed to have a set of parents that were not so traditional. I have had to struggle a lot with the realization that you cannot remove from me the fact that I am of Japanese decent.

I do not want everyone to feel that race is a big issue with me. In a way I guess it is because our society is geared toward a person's outward appearance. However I feel that if you do not know that I am Japanese-American, you do not really know me. I will always consider myself an American first, but I have tried to combine the best of both cultures.

I recently graduated from the University of California at Davis with a B.A. in English Lit. Don't let that fool you. My grammar and spelling are awful, and the main reason I became an English major was because I love to read, and I love the idea of creative thinking vs. memorization. Needless to say, my parents had hoped I would be a Doctor, Lawyer, Dentist or Phd.

One of my greatest faults is that I ramble on to much so enough about me, does anyone else out there care to share their family history? I am facinated by the mixture of cultures here in the good ol' United States.