Mike Omoto

Michael Omoto is a Nikkei Yonsei from Los Angeles, who has split his adult life between Japan and the US.  At University of California, Irvine, he majored in psychology and minored in philosophy.   After a few years as an English teacher in Japan, he studied software engineering, joined a startup in Silicon Valley, and has now returned to Japan to work at a well-known tech company. 

Mike volunteers for Discover Nikkei, and has worked extensively on the Discover Nikkei website as the primary technical lead. He is currently advising a large-scale redesign of the site. He also attended COPANI XIX in Peru, and helped prepare for COPANI XX while living in San Francisco as part of the organizing committee.

Mike spends his free time advocating for diversity in the software industry, playing billiards, enjoying the piano and guitar, traveling, and eating good food.

Updated December 2022

culture en ja es pt

How Do Nikkei Living in Japan Spend Their New Year?

In Japan, there are old traditions that go back hundreds of years, such as hanami1 in the spring, unagi2 in the summer, or buying a kumade3 in the fall, and of course, osechi4 on new years in the winter. There are newer traditions, such as KFC on Christmas. And, of course, there are personal traditions—for example, at the end of summer, I always make one final trip to the supermarket to stock up on Suika Bars5 since they only sell them in the summer, and each year, in the early spring, I eat my fill of ichigo daifuku6. There’s something traditional about traditions, and fo…

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identity en

A Japanese American in Japan

First and foremost, a little about myself. I’m one of those “self proclaimed” fourth-generation Japanese Americans, but as it is, I’m culturally more similar to a second. My father was born in the States, but he grew up in postwar Japan, along with a handful of siblings under the guidance of my barely-Japanese-speaking grandmother. My mother is an Issei, a naturalized Japanese-born American, who came over to the States in her twenties.That being said, I grew up in a house of misoshiru and fish, as well as hamburgers and pizza. Three to four days a week were dedicated t…

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