My dad is Japanese and hails from Osaka, and my American mom was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She was always interested in Asia. She traveled to Japan in the mid-1960s to participate in the basis of a program that introduced physical therapy. She visited Shikoku, approximately an hour’s drive from Tokyo, and was among the five Americans on the island.

She always carried an alphabetical dictionary and could grasp basic conversation in less than six months. Then, she went to an elementary school in Tokyo, where she came across my father. He’s an occupational therapist. My parents got married in 1979. My father was an occupational therapist at Tokyo University when I was born in 1979.

When I was just two years old, my father decided to pursue a degree in America. United States. I was able to spend the next three years studying in Boston, and that’s when I began to learn English because it was my first language. Our brother was also born in Boston.

We returned to Japan in 1985 and settled in Maebashi, about two hours drive from Tokyo.

Shimizu was captured in Kennedy Town. She earned a master’s diploma from Osaka, Japan, in international relations, accompanied by English and Mandarin. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

My elementary school had around 800 students, and my name was not the sole foreigner. Within one year, my Japanese was just as proficient as the kids’.

My mother could speak Japanese but struggled to write and read so I could read the entire correspondence from her school for her. This helped me gain an appreciation for accountability.

“If I wept and were beaten, I’d get hit even more. He works to stop children from feeling the way he did.

Health picture

My mother was very attracted to organic foods and was worried about using no preservatives. Her detergent was organic, meaning my PE uniform was not as white as other kids’ since she didn’t use bleach. While the other children consumed white rice, I was eating white rice.

When I was a child, I didn’t wish to be different. It wasn’t until I grew older that I found myself grateful that my mother had taught me this lifestyle of healthy living, to.

My father was a fan of natural medicines, and I didn’t own any painkillers until I was older and began living alone. We had at-home fans rather than air conditioners to ensure that our bodies could learn to regulate their temperature. Although I didn’t love it initially, it was a way to build my strength. I never got sick.

Shimizu in a picture taken in 2012 at the cooking class held in a pop-up. Photo: Shima Shimizu

Seeds being planted

My mother cooked a blend that was a mix of Western food and Japanese food. For Thanksgiving, she cooked turkey. I loved her spaghetti bolognese, and she cooked tacos. She also cooked Japanese food.

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What I learned from her was a knowledge of the importance of using healthy ingredients. As a teenager, I was a fan of transforming classic recipes into healthier ones using healthier ingredients.

We relocated to Hiroshima when I was 13 years old. I was an art student and a social studies enthusiast. My English scores were excellent, and I went to Osaka University of Foreign Studies to earn an international relations degree using English and Mandarin.

I was in Hong Kong] in March 2003. It was during the Sars outbreak, and everyone was wearing masks.

While at university, I prepared meals for myself. Since I was on a strict budget, I soon realized that vegetables were less expensive than meat, and I began eating an increasingly vegetarian diet. It was noticeable that the acne was less noticeable as well as I shed weight. Going vegetarian was the best choice, but I was open about it.

Life, Love, and Love, life,

In the 3rd year of my degree, I attended between 20 and 30 interviews with trading firms. This job would let me utilize the advantages of my English and travel. However, companies were only keen on hiring women if they worked in an office. They all refused. It was a primarily male-dominated environment.

I translated a few times in preparation for the East Asian Games, and that’s when I met Wat Tze-wan, a judo player who hails from Hong Kong. We began dating. He was also a student at the time in Japan, although at a separate school. He was a little older than me. However, he was one year behind me at the university.