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How To Become Japanese

I earned my PhD in Japanese literature, then left a 17-year career in academic research to write creative nonfiction and teach. "Kiku"is a pen name that memorializes my grandmother's Kikuchi 菊地 family of origin from Yamagata farm country. How To Become Japanese is my memoir about learning the language in my twenties and bonding with my mother’s childless sisters in their Tokyo home to pierce her silence about her family of origin. When I’m entangled in the grief and betrayal between Mom and obachan, I must find my voice in recovered family stories and my own struggles with loss.

 *Writing * Reading * Curiosities*

WOW!-Women on Writing
"Never Too Late: Helena Rho Talks About Her Memoir American Seoul and Writing as a Way to Move Forward Through Life" 
Interview in WOW-Women on Writing

​読書・どくしょ・ Reading [memoir-wise]

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" 'Writing is the deep breath before full recovery' " Norie reminds herself with Lai Hsiang-yin's poem. This debut novel won a Japanese literary prize for Taiwanese immigrant Li Kotomi, who wrote it in Japanese as her second language. Her protagonist Norie finds allies in Tokyo in her battle with homophobia and destructive secrecy, and despite her deep sadness, life glows in her dreams of a creative future.

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