Returning to Tokyo on the 3rd of May after spending a few days in London, I spent the rest of Golden Week relaxing, before going to Los Angeles on the 8th. Unfortunately, I was unable to go to St. Gallen this time round.
Thankfully, the weather in L.A. was as sunny, if not more so, than it was in Tokyo. I headed for the UCLA campus for some meetings straightaway. In the evening, I attended a screening of a documentary filmed around the year 1984 called ‘Issei’, a documentary recording the experiences of ‘nikkei’ (Japanese American) people in and around San Francisco towards the end of the 1900s. It was filmed and produced on a tight budget and within a short timespan.
This screening was part of an initiative by the Paul Terasaki Center, an organisation set up by Prof. Paul Terasaki, an old friend I have had the pleasure of introducing here.
The next day, I participated in a forum on the theme of the Japanese diaspora. Starting off in the morning, it was full of interesting and thought-provoking research, insights and ideas. I learnt a lot, and had a great time. In my closing comments, I highlighted the fact that in our rapidly globalizing world, more and more people are actively choosing to cross cultural and national boundaries in order to create value for their talent. These pioneers creating value for themselves, become valuable ‘dots’ within a sea of homogeneity. And as these proactive pioneers often marry people from other cultures, a tremendous amount of cultural exchange takes place leading to the creation of a brand-new culture, which also unfortunately includes the gradual decline of any feelings of attachment to a particular country. This process of progressive change has been documented and represented through various data.
I had dinner at the glitzy Montage Hotel located right in the centre of Beverly Hills. The UCLA chancellor Block and Ms. Irene Hirano also joined us.
The next day, I attended a meeting hosted by the Terasaki Center at Montage Hotel, where Dr Terasaki was also present.
With cloudless azure skies, beautiful South Californian vistas, and the stunning UCLA campus, who could ask for more?
The next day, I was off, this time heading to Okinawa via Narita. What, Okinawa!?