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May 17, 2022

AAPI Heritage Month Spotlight: Yuki Takahashi

Yuki Takahashi is a finance director at MGO and works out of the firm’s Bay Area office. Although she has now lived in the United States for twice as long as she lived in Japan, she still credits her childhood there to be extremely formative to who she is today.

I didn’t take a lot with me when I left Japan, but I carried the values I grew up with, especially perseverance and hard work,” she said. “Those were instilled in me, and I credit any success I have now to what I learned growing up.”

Something else Yuki cherishes from Japan: the food. Her favorite thing to share with others about her heritage is the cuisine, including lesser-known Japanese dishes like grilled fish, braised vegetables, and fermented beans.

There is so much more to Japanese food than sushi!” Yuki said. “I love introducing my friends here to dishes they’ve never heard of — or, if they saw it on a menu, were too skeptical to give it a try. Food provides a vehicle to bring people together, and I find that to be especially true when it comes to tasting things from other cultures. It’s a shared experience.”

Yuki also has a soft spot for a certain Japanese culture: announcing “itte-kimasu” when you leave home and “tadaima” when you return, which translate to “I will go and come back” and “I have returned.” Despite moving from her childhood home in Japan years ago, when Yuki visits her parents, she upholds this practice.

Your home is where you’re safe, and even when you leave it, you make that promise to come back to those you love,” she said.

When it comes to celebrating AAPI Heritage Month, Yuki is happy to see the community rallying together, because despite their different languages and cultures, they are all connected with a common thread. This, she believes, is more important than ever in the face of the recent surge of hate crimes against the members of the community.

We’ve always kind of laid low,” she said. “But we’ve also always endured discrimination. Now it’s crucial that we stake our claim in this country with pride, remaining visible and proud. Humanity exists in all cultures, and it binds us together. We must fight for that.”