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
Little Tokyo Office: 321 1/2 East First Street #204, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Pasadena Office: 440 South Marengo Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101