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[Mizuki Oka] Oral History Interview

Date: October 21, 2014


Location: Willy T
Length: [00:14:33]
Interviewee: Mizuki Oka
Interviewer: Katie Porter
[MO] = Interviewee Initials
[KP] = Interviewer Initials
[KP] : Since youve been in America what are some differences youve noticed in how
healthy Japanese food is compared to American food?
[MO]: The portions are 2X bigger, the price is not so different, but ya I try to limit the
amount of food but its too hard because they give you so much food.
[KP]: Do you think in Japan they hold health to a higher value than in America?
[MO]: Most Japanese food care about the amount of sugar, and we can see how much
sugar on the outside of the package, so we need to check before we buy it, and control
how much you eat.
[KP]: What would be a typical Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner?
[MO]: The typical breakfast is rice and miso soup, and salmon, and tsukemono ( a
vegetable served with rice). Lunch is donburi, a rice bowl, or sometimes people eat pork
rice bowl or ya we eat rice always. For dinner we usually eat white rice and then we cook
the appetizers like 3 kind of appetizers. And sometimes we have some celebrations like a
birthday and we make sushi or skiaki. And we usually eat raw egg.
[KP}: What meals would you normally eat with your family and what meals would you
usually do on your own?
[MO]: Breakfast is usually on my own because my parents work and they wake up before
me. For lunch I usually bring a rice bowl. We eat dinner with our family at home.
[KP]: Is it normal to go out to dinner a lot in Japan?
[MO]: No, my family went out to dinner once a year, yeah only once (laughs), because
my sister and brother are old 26 or 27 so we dont live together so we cant go out
together.
[KP] : So when you do go out its for a celebration or something like that?
[MO]: Ya, ya only to celebrate.
[KP]: And do you ever go out with your friends or is it more just a family thing?
[MO]: (hmmmm) Its a celebration with for me I usually spend it with my friends as my
birthday party.
[KP] : What are the main foods that you would eat as a Japanese diet?
[MO]: Rice (laughs) ya white rice, and green tea, and we usually put the tea on the rice
and then we put on some topping like vegetables.

[KP]: How is respect for adults viewed in the Japanese culture? Is it really emphasized to
have a high respect for adults or how is it different in Japan than in America?
[MO]: Ya we have a lot of respect towards adults in Japanese, so we definitely should use
some words if were talking to older people than me.
[KP]: So you would speak more formally with adults?
[MO]: Ya, in here the students always say hey professor we alwasys say Professor
(and their name ) and they always just say their name.
[KP]: What is the normal family style, do women usually work?
[MO]: Yes
[KP]; Do they usually have the same jobs men would have?
[MO]: Umm my sister studied abroad in Korea and she works with a big company and
travels for her work and my brother works in Uniquo in New York.
[KP]: Did your mom work growing up?
[MO]: Yes, her and my father both are in banking.
[David Oswalt] Oral History Interview
Date: October 19, 2014
Location: Champions Court 1
Length: [00:14:33]
Interviewee: David Oswalt
Interviewer: Katie Porter
[DO] = Interviewee Initials
[KP] = Interviewer Initials
[KP]: How is respect towards adults different in Japan than in the US?
[DO]: Kids here disrespect their parents all the time, its less common there, respecting
their elders is a huge part of their culture, if you were ever to tell your parents off in
Japan they wouldnt take it very lightly. Its really rare for a family in Japan to get a
divorce.
[KP]: What are some of the main basis for food in Japanese Culture?
[DO]: Rice always, Seafood is probably more common than anything else, and then Pork,
chicken, and beef too are pretty common.
[KP]: What are some differences you noticed in the emphasis on health when you moved
to the US from Japan?
[DO]: Theres more of an emphasis on not being fat, like most meals are eaten at home,
and they have fast food places but not as much and people dont go there as often.
[KP]: How often do people go out to dinner in Japan? Is it usually with friends or family
or for special occasions?

[DO]: Its pretty uncommon, I mean people still go out to eat they have restaurants but
not nearly as often as people do here. Meals are usually eaten at home with the family,
dinner is always with the family and same with lunch if the parents arent at work.
[KP]: What is the normal Japanese family style? Do women usually work or no?
[DO]: Average size family usually has 1 or 2 kids, and the working person is typically
a man but some women work too but not as many as in America, the mom is usually at
home with the kids while the dad goes to work.