U.S. National Institutes of Health

Turning Japanese: A Graphic Memoir, MariNaomi, 2016.

Courtesy MariNaomi

In her graphic memoir, author and artist MariNaomi recounts a personal journey of discovery that included her experiences with panic attacks, culture clashes, and struggles to communicate.

MariNaomi, whose mother is Japanese and father is a White American, is 22 years old when she undertakes this journey. She travels to San Jose, California where she falls in love and works at a bar for Japanese expats and then moves to Japan.

Eventually, MariNaomi adjusts to her surroundings, gains a new perspective on herself and her heritage, and becomes proficient enough in Japanese to have a conversation with her maternal grandparents.

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