“A vulnerable, searching, raw record.” — Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
The year is 1995. Fresh out of a long-term relationship, twenty-two-year old MariNaomi finds herself in San Jose, California. Mari, a mixed-race Japanese American, has for many years felt disconnected from the culture of her mother. Immersed in the pan-asian diaspora of San Jose, Mari searches for cultural and romantic connections.
It doesn’t take long for Mari to find new loves, and a new job–at a hostess bar for Japanese expats–in a bid to learn the Japanese language and culture. Turning Japanese moves as Mari does, from San Jose to Tokyo, as she tries to get by in an unfamiliar city with rudimentary language skills–all in the hopes of finally connecting with her Japanese relatives without the use of her mother as a translator.
Turning Japanese: Expanded Edition includes new story pages that bring fresh insight and a new resolution to this classic comics memoir of our times.