20. Tracing and Discovering My Japanese Family and Culture, Vivienne Chin

Nov 21, 2019, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

For many years, I thought I had no hope of finding my Japanese relatives. My Japanese grandmother had left Japan at the age of 18 to live in Malaysia. There she met her husband, had a family, returned to Japan twice: once after 50 years and the second time to die in the country of her birth.  Her daughter, my mother, visited Japan a couple of times, the last time was to look after her mother in her dying days. My own mother died ten years ago leaving no information on how to contact her family. I had not met any of them. Indeed, even if I did contact them, no one spoke English. What would I say to them? Would they know who I was? Last year, through a friend and with a lot of luck, I found my Japanese family. My world turned upside down in a good way. My brothers and I visited Japan in March of this year to meet our many relatives and to discover our ancestral home. In a funny way, it already felt like home.

Speaker: Vivienne Chin