Saturday, April 18, 2009


Jun asks his sister Keiko about her taking out New Zealand citizenship and giving up her Japanese nationality.


Jun: You’ll give up your Japanese citizenship, then?

Keiko: It’s a new start for me. I can forget.

Jun: But you're still Japanese.

Keiko: It’s not been an easy decision. All my life, I’ve thought of myself as Japanese. Suddenly, I won’t be. But I’m ready for the shock.

Jun: You’re still family. But friends? What do they say?

Keiko: I’ve been away twenty years. I’ve changed, friends have changed. And I have friends in New Zealand.

Jun: Your identity?

Keiko: Yes. I’m still Japanese. Standing on this bridge, I am conscious of the spirits in this shrine. Memories like that I cannot erase.



Yes, it could have been written for a Japanese movie. But giving up any citizenship is giving up a lot. Family, identity, friends, culture, language… If the new family, identity, friends, culture, language don’t measure up, is it worth it…?


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