2019 Fall Kailie Michalak Temple Japan Temple Semester

What It’s Like to Be Half Japanese Living in Japan

The reason I came to study abroad here in Tokyo is to connect with a part of my personal identity I haven’t had the chance to connect with before. Little did I know that I can’t really be Japanese here in Japan the way I am an American in America. Obviously, the two are entirely different countries that host two entirely different cultures.

Being half Japanese has definitely been a challenge for me here. I’m not sure if this is the typical experience for a half Japanese person living in Japan, but this has been mine thus far. This experience is definitely not what I had expected, and was hard at times, but as a result I have grown and learned so much as an individual. Here I talk about some of my thoughts and experiences of being (an American) half Japanese person living in Tokyo.

One comment

  1. This was on-point with how I felt at times when I studied abroad in Tokyo (spring 2018). Also, that’s cool you’re half-Japanese and are a dual-citizen because I too am a halfie and went to Japan with a Japanese passport as well. But yeah, it can be stressful at times when we feel out of place as a halfie due to how we look, and then have some Japanese people talking to us in English while we know Japanese. The best thing to do is to adapt (like you mentioned) and also maybe voice our concerns (like you did, which is a good thing for people out in the world to hear our thoughts and also to connect with like-minded people). Thanks for the vid! 🙂

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