when i first
left my family in Japan and came to the United States as an
undergraduate exchange student, it was not even in my wildest dreams
that I would someday write and publish a book. Many years have passed
and many things have happened since, and here I am, cobbling together
a few words to acknowledge and thank those who have helped make this
book possible. It seems, truly, uncanny.
When you move away from home, you become nobody, a person
with no name, a person without history. When you begin to build a life
in a strange place, you have no place to start from, and this complete
freedom, this arbitrariness, is far more frightening than liberating. But
from my early years in the United States all the way to the present, I
have been extremely fortunate, as I always had people around me who
were willing to help, to go a little further than what their duty called
for, to offer unconditional support, to anchor me in this new place. To
recollect their names and the time, care, and resources that they in-
vested in me is to recollect the process of my self-making as a trans-
national migrant, an anthropologist, and a person with history. I name
here only those whose help directly contributed to the making of this
book, though I acknowledge that there were many others without
whom I would not exist as the person I am now.
I would like to acknowledge two organizations for providing me
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