Since the day I was born,
I was taught to be proud,
Proud of being Japanese.

My great grandmother taught me,
As she tended me in my infancy,
Carrying me on her back,
And carrying on her tradition in me.

My grandmother taught me,
How to wield chopsticks,
How to cook our foods,
How to appreciate the beauty of our culture.

My father taught me,
How to be wise,
How to be respectful,
How to act with honor.

Foolishly, I was made to feel inadequate,
My face too wide,
My nose too big,
My eyes too narrow.

For too long,
I looked in the mirror with sorrow,
Drowning in feelings of inferiority,
Consumed by shame.

Until I realized,
All that made me “inferior”,
All that made me “less attractive”,
Was all that made me Japanese.

And I refuse to be ashamed,
Of that which I was always taught
To be proud.

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Overcoming insecurity through pride in my heritage.