About Me — Bart Emanuel

A.K.A. bakagaijin, 馬鹿外人 — (a stupid, foolish, dull, or ridiculous foreigner, especially one of European descent).

bakagaijin
About Me Stories
Published in
4 min readJul 30, 2021

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I was born in Texas, moved to Japan when I was six months old, and lived mostly there for the next sixteen years. I say mostly because we spent a year in the U.S. every 4–5 years. For me, these were for First Grade / the First year of Primary School (Middlesboro, in the very southeast corner of Kentucky), Seventh Grade / the First year of Middle School (Muskogee, in the Eastern part of Oklahoma), and 12th Grade / the Senior year of High School, in Knoxville, in the Eastern part of Tennessee).

I don’t think my parents intended for it to be that way, but each of these years happened to coincide with what I think of as potentially important years in any young human’s growth.

For me, the experience was one of being wrenched away from home, from comfort, and from all the people I knew, and being inserted into a very foreign place (America was a foreign place to me at the time), with total strangers who thought (and spoke) differently than I did.

Of course, there was also a sense of adventure and excitement in travel, and in going to new places, especially since my American parents tried to give our family some knowledge of what America was.

As it happened, the America they knew as they were growing up in Kentucky and Oklahoma was changing.

This was the ’60s and ‘70s, and the themes of racial injustice, social unrest, equality for all people, and for all sexes, the questionable morality of our involvement in Vietnam were prominently felt by all of us who experienced that time.

What I learned early in my life was this: the world today will never be the same place it seemed to be yesterday.

I look back fondly on the years I spent at my school in Japan, the Canadian Academy, in Kobe. You can read a little about it in the early chapters of my book, “The Family Business,” which are mostly biographical.

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bakagaijin
About Me Stories

Master Inventor and AI Architect. Grew up in Japan, World Traveler. Former Navy Linguist. Interests include Music, Writing, Tech, Travel, and a Better World.