Tracing roots back to Taipei

November 25, 2015

I figured that since I live only 3 hours away, it was time to use a 3-day weekend to revisit my birthplace, trace my family roots, and reunite with my relatives and my USC arch mentor. I spent my first 1.5 days in Taipei with my USC arch mentor Henry, stayed with my family in rural Hotong, and then reunited with Henry back in Taipei for my last evening. Everything felt so raw- the streets, meeting locals (who thought I still look/sound Japanese even when I spoke Chinese) Yet after spending some time with the locals, I felt a strange mix of warm nostalgia to be surrounded with my family and a burdened heart to see the rest of Taiwan, a developed country, with still many harsh work conditions and young adults of my generation leaving Taiwan because of this. Although Taiwan is only a 3 hour flight away from Japan, the culture is completely different; Taiwan residents are more local-minded and in my opinion, even more loyal to their family and ancestors. Thank you so much again Henry and Jerry for taking me around – whether it was on a rental bike or a slippery hike. I will definitely be back again next year.