MacKenzie Midori Dyck (nee Sato), (she/her), born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1991. A yonsei in the Canadian prairies, reclaiming and preserving Japanese heritage was a principle I grew up with, but it often felt external and performative; how I am perceived, as opposed to how I perceive, what I learned to do with my community rather than what I knew to do at home.
Being mixed race, even how I am perceived invites ambiguity. As an adult, I realize that feelings and pressures of “being the best of both worlds” and “having to prove myself” may be part of the generational legacy and it’s helped me feel firmer on identifying as Japanese Canadian, rather than Japanese or Canadian alone.
Now I hold my cultural practices for myself rather than for others, and there is a gentleness and forgiveness to it that frees me, rather than makes me feel “less than” or like “an imposter”.