Sudden acceptance in Japanese society

Growing up in a Japanese American family The reason for coming to Japan Sudden acceptance in Japanese society Tracing my family crest Disadvantages of looking Japanese Ring name: "Yamato Damashi" I’m American, but my home is Japan Citizenship and identity

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So now I’m going into my fifth year. And I think to myself, I want just one fight. I’m just going to try and fight this. I get into the fight, and up until then, I was considered a gaijin, a foreigner, a outsider.

And I thought because I had so many bad experiences being a outsider in Japan trying to get a visa, trying to live, trying to buy a car, everything gets so difficult when you’re not Japanese. I was really resentful for that. So in my first fight, I had red, white, and blue shorts in my first two or three fights, I think it was—or four fights—to resemble that I’m an American. I’m not Japanese. I had a real bad resentment towards Japan because of how I was treated.

So I got into the ring, beat up my opponent really good. The press just took to me like that. All of a sudden, I’m Japanese. I get a whole page, color page, in the magazine about my fight. And now I’m thinking, I can’t quit now because of this publicity. I got to do one more. And one more becomes two. One more becomes three, four. And then I’m on my fifth fight. And now I’m changing my thinking. I’m thinking, “Man, am I this good? Am I really good?” I want to see where I can go in the world.

Now, I’m 13 years here.

Date: October 14, 2003
Location: Saitama, Japan
Interviewer: Art Nomura
Contributed by: Art Nomura, Finding Home.

boxing FindingHome identity

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