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  • Writer's pictureKiyoka Tokumasu

Being a Third Culture Kid

Repost from Third Culture Instagram post about my experiences as a Third Culture Kid and a Japanese American:

My name is Kiyoka Tokumasu, Third Culture Kid born and raised in New York City in the United States 🇺🇸

My parents moved to the United States from Japan 🇯🇵 to pursue their dreams when they were 19 years old.

I am currently a student at a University in Tokyo, Japan and I am currently studying abroad in a city called Gothenburg in Sweden 🇸🇪 as an exchange student.

My life's foundation was formed when I attended the United Nations International Schoolーa school run under the auspices of the United Nations and guided by its idealsーin New York, where I studied alongside students representing over 100 countries. There, I learned the importance of respecting diversity and how individuals can be an active force in shaping a better, more peaceful world 🌍

A major turning point in my life was when I moved to Japan where I learned about the concept of “Third Culture Kids” and met Japanese Third Culture Kids with similar backgrounds as me.

Up until then, I never completely identified as a “Japanese” or “American” and was often confused about my identity. However, after this experience, I have come to think of my identity as a crossroads of experiences, people, values, cultures, and places I met along the way in my life. Through this experience, I was able to strengthen my identity as a Japanese American and a Third Culture Kid.

I think some of the strongest assets of being a Third Culture Kid is that you learn to embrace and pick up the positive aspects and values of each culture and environment that you are in and make it part of your identity. In addition, our ability to make an effort to understand the other side’s point of views allows us to be excelling cross cultural communicators!

I think Third Culture Kids are true global citizens with a global mindsets and perspectives ✨🌟⭐️💫

I hope we as Third Culture Kids can keep using these strengths to continue to build a better world and future with everyone! I’m proud to be a part of a community of incredible Third Culture Kids!

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