I am Japanese.  I am American.  I am Japanese American.  I am Hapa.  I am Irish, Danish, Scottish.  I was born in Southern California and feel fortunate to have lived in Hawai’i, and on the East Coast as well.  As an adult I immigrated to Japan where I learned Japanese and deeply rooted myself in countryside village life.  The crisp winter air as we pounded brown rice mochi by hand is still natsukashii 懐かしい (nostalgic) for me.     

I have travelled quite a bit, and consider myself a world citizen.  I am well versed in crossing continents, in crossing oceans, in crossing cultures, and in bridging gaps.  As I move through the world I have the experience of both fitting in nowhere and fitting in everywhere.  Living cross-culturally, has only added to my flexibility, my ability to tolerate ambiguity, and feeling comfortable in the space between.  In Japanese we say, aimai 曖昧.  I have grown to understand my identity as ever flowing and dynamic. Through this experience my life has come to be about creating a sense of place and belonging, aiding connection and harmony, and cultivating compassion and meaning.

What is your story?

Matthew Shima, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #113018

805-208-8130   matthewshimatherapy@gmail.com         

Little Tokyo Office: 321 1/2 East First Street #204, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Pasadena Office: 440 South Marengo Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101

awareness     |     compassion     |     connection