One of Them

“I came to Japan right after the bubble burst in the early 1990s. I was six years old and the only foreigner in school. Maybe I was the first foreigner the Japanese kids at my school had ever seen. And perhaps their stereotype of a foreigner was someone with blonde hair and blue eyes. But I looked basically the same as they did. Only I didn’t understand a single word they were saying. They’d follow me around, curious what the foreigner was up to. Wherever I walked, 3 to 5 kids were behind me. What’s funny though was how quick I picked up the language since I moved to Japan from China at a young age. After several months, I started to sound like them. Then they saw me and accepted me as one of their friends. They didn’t know anything about the Nanking Massacre or the sentiment among Chinese and Japanese. They just treated me as one of them. And I think I really enjoyed my childhood in Japan.

“Now I’m a journalist in Tokyo. My mom inspired me to be one. She was a TV reporter in my hometown. I thought it was cool how people from all walks of life would open up to her. It’s not a high-paying job, but it sure is fun. Given the chance though, I’d like to write more stories telling Chinese people what Japan really looks like. Especially now that a lot of Chinese are visiting Japan. But what they know comes from travel agents, who make money off of them. That’s just the shallow side of Japan. Even then, people are still more interested in traveling to Japan. And since I’ve been in Japan for so long and I speak Chinese, if I can write about Japan more, then that would be really interesting.”Grace1.jpg

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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