by Alisa Thorsen
When Kanako Otani first left Hiroshima, Japan, to study at Chico State, she was afraid she would face discrimination on a daily basis. To Otani’s surprise, she found that the culture in the United States was very open, expressive and diverse.
“Here, I can pursue whatever I want and be whoever I want to be,” said Otani, who came to the United States four years ago. “In Japan we practice collectivism, so everyone tries to be the same. If you do something different you might be considered weird and a lot of people don’t like that.”