“My daughter just turned two. She’s half Filipino. My wife teaches her Tagalog while I teach her English. If she goes to public school then she’ll learn Japanese very quickly so that would be great for her. She’ll be trilingual and a third culture kid. I thought Tokyo might not be a great place to raise kids, since it’s like a concrete jungle. But there actually are lots of nice parks, activities, and places to go with your family. The safety is priceless. Being able to be out late at night and not having to look over my shoulder every few steps to wonder who’s behind me. It’s a great feeling. Plus the transportation. I come from Los Angeles, where you have to drive everywhere and basically sit in traffic. Here, just being able to get on the train and fall asleep and not worry someone’s gonna steal your luggage while you’re asleep or something, it’s a great thing. It’s a healthy lifestyle. You take the train and you have to walk to your destination. I don’t know if we’ll grow old here or not. I definitely wanna keep her here for a few more years.

“I grew up in a similar way when I was a kid. I was a military brat so we lived all over the place, including Japan, in Okinawa. With her, you know I’ve heard the stories of foreigners or half kids who get bullied. But even in the US if you’re overweight or if somebody just doesn’t like you, you’re gonna be bullied. So I think bullying and being teased is part of growing up anyway. And I think it’s my job to teach her self-confidence. To teach her that not everybody’s going to like you. And not everybody has to matter to you. Pick and choose who you want to value in your life. But first, value yourself. So I’m not so worried about that. I think by the time she’s much older, Japan is going to be a lot more international than it is at this point. So she’s going to be part of that generation if she stays here for, say, 20 more years. By the time she enters the workforce, things would be so different than where I am now. I’m a foreigner who didn’t grow up here and I’m working in a Japanese company. It’s not easy but I’m able to make it happen and I love what I do (media and event coordinator). So I think her future can only be brighter than mine.”

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tokyointerlopers

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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