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D: So you spoke Japanese at home?

T: First language was Japanese.

D: But you considered it more strongly as a heritage than your siblings?

T: You think because of the name?

D: I'm asking.

T: Well, I think in some ways, because I felt drawn to both places. When I think here, music, and I go the movies, I feel very Japanese, in some ways. And then, on the other hand -- So I always say that I felt link a ping-pong, back and forth. But then, when I got older, I realized, that it isn't East or West really, it's yourself. You take the best of both. But it took a long time to decide on that, because I was drawn one way, this way (laughs) and we learned to make spaghetti and stew, in school, and the teachers all spoke English. We went to Japanese school, but we didn't do that well. Only one hour a day.

D: To teach you Japanese?

T: Culture, reading and writing. But the Japanese school was not that good. Other areas had good Japanese programs. Because in ours, the teacher was a Buddhist priest, and he was busy with other things. So I think we spoke poorly. We didn't really get Japanese culture, somehow I was drawn to it, when I was younger. I still am, in a way.

But I feel, as I said, that I shouldn't take one or the other anyway. My realization was that you should have your own identity, and that if you have a background from the Orient, you should take the best of it.

D: Sort of an additional resource, really, that you have to draw on.

T: Yes. Because there are words that you use in Japanese that you could never translate, and some feelings that you have of the Orient that you never can put in terms of the West.

D: Are you thinking of words that relate to art, to pottery?

T: Everything. You hear Japanese, and you hear or see the English translation, like in movies, it is not really the same. The feeling is not the same. It might literally translate, but it's not exactly right.

D: A different concept?