Language Classes

I’m sure my parents wanted us kids to learn to speak Japanese in the hopes that we might develop an interest Japanese culture. Growing up, my sisters and I were forced to attend Saturday morning Japanese language classes at Kitsilano Community Centre for about five seemingly extra long years. For me, that was from ages 5 to 10. I hated those lessons mostly because they interfered with my ability to watch Saturday morning cartoons and I could not understand why my parents were torturing us so. I distinctly recall telling my mother that I had no interest whatsoever in ever going to Japan so these lessons were a complete waste of time. I’m certain I never studied and only begrudgingly did any homework. Looking back, I feel sorry for the always black suit-clad, bespectacled sensei whose name I cannot recall. I think we always just called him “Sensei”. When all your friends are Caucasian and you don’t know any other kids who are Japanese Canadian, I had no interest in learning Japanese. The only words I recognized were “manju”, and “sembei”! Little did I know at that time that in university I would actually develop an interest in studying Japanese.


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