“Being a Japanese-American woman in Japan, there are times when I feel like I’m constantly being underestimated, or my behavior is under a microscope. When I say or do things in a certain way, some people say, ‘That is so American’ or ‘You’re so gaijin’. But other times they say, ‘Oh so Japanese of you’. Maybe it’s just the way I express myself. I wasn’t born and raised here so my behavior is different. I don’t know. I guess I wouldn’t mind it so much if I had asked for that. But I also think these are blanket terms to begin with. You can’t pick and choose because this is me all the time. Maybe Japan is just not as open or diverse as other cultures. Although I’ve never lived abroad before, so this is my first time. I have to say, I’ve grown a little bit more patient since the beginning, when I first moved here and I struggled a bit. I’m sure every situation is different, but generally there’s that feeling of not being taken seriously. You are literally a caricature–you have all these assumptions made about you. You’re not really allowed an identity, to be this fully fleshed out person. Some people think just because you’re a foreign girl you must be fun. They’re not always valid so please don’t put me under this kind of umbrella idea.”
Relationships here sometimes feel very short and bittersweet. But in that way it’s special because you meet some really magical people.