Session 2: Identity & Community

For those of you blogging this week I’d like you to think back on the session and how you showed your sense of community identity. How do you align and identify yourself within the Japanese American (JA) community? After the activities did you feel more connected to the JA Community at large? And what are the attributes that define you as an individual within this community?

I know this is a bit of a difficult topic but try your best and don’t feel like there’s any “right” answers here.

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3 Responses

  1. For this week’s session, we focused primarily on the idea of “community” and what does/does not define one’s sense of “community.”

    A community, we figured, does not have many limitations; instead, it is whatever one feels connected to or feels involved within. Many of us have different forms of communities: our high school/college community; our home town; our niches (i.e. bruin basketball, religious communities, and more); and whatever else connects us. We even found that we have one more community- the new community that we find ourselves in every Tuesday night.

    As a Japanese-American, I find the never ending difficulty of maintaining a balance between my Japanese roots and new American lifestyle. As we all know from our troubled history with America (World War II), I’m sure my family isn’t the only ones who embraced the whole “American-ization” process after the war. Despite this, this program has opened my eyes to the Japanese community that I had not been apart of for the past years. Although I do not play basketball in the J-League, know Judo, or play a Japanese instrument, I realized that I define just another form of JA. And my differences is how I find myself within our wonderful JA community. 🙂

  2. During the second session of project community we talked about our individual identity and our community identity. We each made our own journey map, which was comprised of different things and/or events that have had an impact on our lives. We also made a group mural where we all added something that we thought had to do with our community identity.

    Ever since I was little i found myself involved in different aspects of the JA community. I have played on the Pasadena Bruins since I was in first grade and my mom is very involved in the community and has given me the opportunity to be involved as well. I also go to a Japanese American church in the San Gabriel Valley. so in those aspects I am involved in the community.

    Project community has give me a new perspective on what the definition of community is and how i fit into the different communities.

  3. Our identity is what defines us, both as individuals and a community. For me, many of the activities I participate in on a weekly basis revolve around the Japanese American community. For my extracurricular activities, I often find myself at Japanese American community centers such as the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, the JACCC, and even my church which has a large Japanese presence. Even at school, I am part of the Japanese Club where we attempt to immerse students in Japanese culture. I never really thought about it growing up, but being surrounded by Japanese Americans is what made me feel comfortable. As I have grown, my interest in my cultural community has continued to grow, drawing me to programs such as Rising Stars and now Project: Community!

    Looking at the different activities each of us participate in, made me realize how similar and different each of us are. The one thing we all seemed to share was some connection to the Japanese American community. This involvement is part of our identity as Japanese Americans and brings us together.

    The different activities I participate in and the people that surround me are what have shaped me into the person I am today. These things are what have made me a part of the JA community. With Little Tokyo constantly changing, I now know to embrace the change and become an influential member of my community

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