“When the 2011 earthquake hit Japan, I dropped everything and left the US to come back here and work as a volunteer. Being bilingual and bi-cultural (I was born and raised in Tokyo), I worked as an interpreter for disaster and economic relief organizations. I also did PR and got major global coverage for one of the cities that was seriously affected. But then I was completely burnt out. I was physically and mentally exhausted. And I had a health breakdown. I got very sick. Landed myself in the emergency room and was told to call my family in because they weren’t sure if I was going to make it through the night. I have autoimmune hepatitis. It’s incurable so I stay on treatment. Now I’m in treatment for what in the US would be called medical malpractice and I’m no longer working for that city. My husband moved here from Boston to help care for me. In the meantime, there are certain things about home that I miss, such as Mexican food and American pie (sorry, it’s just not gonna happen here). So I started a pie business and I could not be happier. I’m doing pretty well. I have more business than I want. I take orders when I feel like it. I say no when I feel like it. Between the scent of vanilla, butter, sugar and cinnamon, that’s my therapy.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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