The last couple of days have been spent thinking about and answering questions about my Japanese American identity. A film crew from NHK, the Japanese public television station, is visiting west coast cities to produce a documentary about Japanese Americans. They are in Seattle trying to find out why it is so important for Japanese Americans to document their own history, and how doing this work affects perceptions of identity. They will be following the Densho staff to Denver as we conduct interviews during the Denver JANM conference.
Being asked these types of questions on camera is not that easy and I have to admit I feel a lot more comfortable being the person behind the camera asking the questions. Yesterday, after finishing a session with my parents and me, it was fun to relax with the Japanese film crew over a simple dinner and some good wine to continue the conversation, and to watch the Japanese try to understand my dad’s golf jokes!