Japan Native Working To Enhance Cultural Understanding In Pittsburgh Throughout Asian And Pacific Islander Heritage Month – CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A strong Asian culture and community exists within Western Pennsylvania and it continues to grow.
In fact, several thousand Asians and Pacific Islanders live in Allegheny County alone, according to Vibrant Pittsburgh.
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Born in Japan, Fuyuo Ueyama, which means winter man on top of mountain, gained his nickname when he came to America.
“Yeah, Huey,” said Ueyama. “It’s the easy way.”
Huey moved to Pittsburgh from Tokyo three years ago, after his company Kuraray acquired Calgon Carbon. He’s the vice president and chief strategy officer of the corporation.
“I really enjoy living in Pittsburgh,” said Huey. “My wife and I love it here. Pittsburgh gives us great food, art, culture and music. I am a true Pittsburgh sports fan.”
He says he is fortunate to live in the region.
Despite the recent attacks on Asians nationwide, Huey says he hasn’t experienced that type of hate. However, he does face other challenges.
“There’s very little in common between English and Japanese languages in terms of pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary,” said Huey. “I think communication requires not only language, but also cultural understanding.”
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As Huey continues to learn the local culture, he’s giving Pittsburgh a taste of Japanese customs.
“We do better with conversations and not direct questions,” said Huey. “Americans are used to be being put on the spot and aren’t afraid to change their mind after their answer where as Japanese are used to thinking about all sides of the issue before making up their mind.”
Huey also educates others as one of the directors in the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.
The executive director says the organization also helps strengthen ties between the two.
“There are a surprising number of connections between our region and Japan from long-standing business connections like Elliott Group and Mitsubishi Electric Power products to newer business connections like Calgon Carbon Corporation,” said Amy Boots, the Japan-American Society of Pennsylvania executive director. “We also have students coming here from Japan.”
Pittsburgh even has a sister city outside of Tokyo, which helps build business relationships.
“Japanese citizens like Mr. Ueyama have come to the U.S. for business and education, and overall have a favorable view of American citizens,” said Boots. “This friendship at the grassroots level also contributes to a strong U.S.-Japan partnership at the government level.”
With hopes of continuing to create connections and share cultures.
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Ueyama already seems to fit in Pittsburgh, perfectly, “What I wanted to add was, let’s go Pens!”