Archive | Culture Shock

The Comfort of Courtesy

October 7, 2011   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times The woman at the lost baggage counter at the Portland, Oregon, airport took down my information matter-of-factly and told me my luggage would be delivered overnight. The bag never came. I retrieved it myself the following morning on my way to […]

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Acclimating From Tokyo to New York City

August 10, 2011   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times NEW YORK — “Is it dangerous here?” my 12-year-old son asks me as we walk down a street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, passing the assortment of residents ranging from the fit-looking woman walking a dog to a deranged […]

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Changing Tongues

June 26, 2012 By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times NEW YORK — My son is on an English language high. After 10 months at a U.S. boarding school, it’s as if the Japanese words stored in his brain have been replaced with English ones that flow forth freely every time he […]

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My Un-American Son

July 24, 2009   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times TOKYO — “In America, don’t lay even a finger on anyone,” I tell my 10-year-old son as I pack his bags for summer camp in the U.S. I’m trying to reprogram him so he doesn’t casually shove another child in a […]

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