Issei: The Shadow Generation

Rooted in Japanese Values, Planted on American Soil

By Tsukasa Matsueda

Issei, The Shadow Generation is the first book to ponder the influence of Japanese culture on childrearing practices and offers a model and philosophy for cultural balance. He explains, “shitsuke” in Japanese, the word for childrearing, is composed of the characters of “beautiful” and “being”. Ultimately, the Issei believed in raising a “beautiful person who is physically, mentally and spiritually able to cope with the realities of life”.   Throughout the book, he distills how the Issei reinforced Japanese culture to build strength of character and inner beauty in their children, from childhood through adulthood, in spite of the adversity of racism they faced in America.