• Ken Shem

My favorite word - ありがとう。(Thank you)

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

I am acquainted with Ms. Wakita through the San Francisco Japanese School. She came to the U.S. 30 years ago from Osaka and now resides in San Jose. Here’s a summary of our conversation, translated from Japanese.

Thank you (ありがとう), Meeting people by chance (ご縁). I like these words because they make me feel warm and connected to the heart. I am able to tell my feelings to other people.

Japanese culture in the Bay Area is something we need to make ourselves. For example, I am involved with San Jose Giants' Japanese Heritage Night, fundraising for the Japanese school and volunteering at the San Francisco Japanese School. I have endeavored to preserve festive and seasonal traditions (e.g., 7/5/3 ceremony, coming of age ceremony, New Year’s gathering, graduation ceremony) by providing opportunities for these events with my own children and the children at the Japanese school. I like the Japanese way of celebrating childhood and the seasons (e.g., New Year, Obon). Through these life events, I want children to cherish feeling of being Japanese and continue these traditions when they grow up.

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