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Reverse Culture Shock・逆カルチャーショック・反向文化冲击

When I moved to Texas as a 14-year-old who had grown up in Japan my whole life, I experienced reserve culture shock. I didn’t know what all the other 14-year-olds around me knew. They could name famous actors, singers, and actresses; I didn’t know who they were talking about. I spoke English, but I was a social outcast.

When people asked me where I was from, I would say, “I’m from Japan”, even though I’m American and my other “home” was supposed to be Texas. For my whole life, America was a place I visited, a place my grandparents and other family lived from my mother’s side, a place that had huge food portions as well as bigger sized people, a place where I could go on penny hunts with my siblings, a place that had cool visitor centers everywhere, and a place that was very vast and open. 

What I didn’t realize back in the day was how much I knew that others didn’t. If I had named someone famous in Japan or a singer I was obsessed with at the time, no one would’ve known. There was nothing “wrong” with me and I wasn’t “ignorant.” I was only unfamiliar with pop culture in the United States. 

I wish I had known this earlier -- I wish someone had told me, because it was so hard sometimes to not feel ashamed and out of place. It was reverse culture shock, but I had no idea it was a thing. People talk about culture shock, but they don’t talk about reverse culture shock, which is when one returns to their home country and doesn’t fit in.

People in Texas spoke up and talked over each other, something that would very seldom happen in Japan. No one “read the room” and cared if I had an opinion. My timidness was often mistaken for silent agreement, and I didn’t have enough courage to speak against anything being said. 

Sometimes it was the hint of Japanese in my voice that caused others to not understand me. I thought I was speaking English and was so confused because I was indeed, speaking perfectly good English. What I didn’t realize was that racism was a very prevalent and normal thing. It wasn’t hidden between nuances like it is in Japan, it was openly spoken for all to hear.

I wish someone had held me and told me everything would be okay and that I just needed to adjust to my new “normal” world -- so here I am telling you, if you need to hear this…that you belong.

You will find your place and you will learn enough to have conversations with strangers. But give yourself some grace that it’s okay to not know some things and don’t forget to sometimes bask in the pride that you know a lot of other things that people don’t know either. 






テキサスではみんな、声を上げ、お互いを消しあうかのように話し、日本とは対照的だった。誰も 「空気を読む」ことはせず、私が意見を言おうが気にしなかった。私の臆病さはしばしば無言の同意と勘違いされ、何か言われたとしてもそれに反論する勇気がなかった。


誰かに抱きしめてもらって、「大丈夫だよ、新しい 「普通」の世の中に慣れれば良いんだよ」と言ってもらいたかった。なので、私がこの場を借りて、言いたい事は、もしあなたがこれを聞く必要があるなら。。。あなたは居場所があるということです。



我到14 岁在日本长大,搬到德克萨斯州时,我经历了反向文化冲击。我不知道周围其他 14 岁的孩子都知道的东西。他们能说出知名演员、歌手和女演员的名字,而我却不知道他们在说谁。虽然我会说英语,但我还是被社会排斥。

尽管我是美国人,而我的另一个 "家 "应该是德克萨斯州,当别人问我来自哪里时,我会说 "我来自日本"。在我的一生中,美国是我去过的地方,是我的祖父母和我母亲那边的其他家人生活的地方,是一个食物分量很大、人也很大的地方,是一个我可以和我的兄弟姐妹们一起去寻便士的地方,是一个到处都有很酷的游客中心的地方,是一个非常辽阔和开放的地方。

我当时没有意识到的是,我知道很多别人不知道的事情。如果我说出日本某个名人的名字,或者我当时迷恋的某个歌手的名字,没有人会知道。我没有什么 "问题",也不是 "无知"。我只是不熟悉美国的流行文化。


德克萨斯州的人们高谈阔论,互相交谈,这在日本是很少见的。没有人 "读懂空气",也没有人关心我是否有意见。我的胆怯常常被误认为是无声的附和,我没有足够的勇气对别人说的话提出反对意见。


那时候,我希望有人能抱着我,告诉我一切都会好起来的,我只需要适应我的新 "正常 "世界--所以我在这里告诉你,如果你需要听到这些,你会属于的。



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