Being half-British and half-Japanese has always been a unique experience for me. Growing up, I often found myself torn between two worlds - the reserved politeness of British culture and the vibrant energy of Japanese traditions. At times, it felt like trying to balance on a tightrope, never quite feeling fully at home in either culture.

My mother is British, while my father is Japanese. They met during my mother's travels to Japan and fell in love despite their cultural differences. I was born in England but spent most of my childhood summers visiting my father's family in Japan. These trips were always filled with new experiences - from attending traditional festivals to learning how to properly bow when greeting someone.

When I moved to Japan permanently to live with Alice, my childhood friend, I faced even more challenges as I tried to navigate through school and social interactions. Some people saw me as exotic because of my mixed heritage, while others questioned if I truly belonged there.

Despite these struggles, being both British and Japanese has given me a unique perspective on life that not many others have. It has taught me empathy towards different cultures and made me appreciate the beauty in diversity.

One thing that constantly surprises people is how seamlessly I transition between speaking English with an accent one moment and fluently conversing in Japanese the next. It's almost like having two sides of myself that are equally important yet distinct from each other.

I find comfort in knowing that no matter where life takes me or what challenges come my way, being both British and Japanese will always be a part of who I am. And instead of seeing it as a burden or limitation, I choose to embrace it wholeheartedly as something that makes me uniquely Karen Kujou .