Name: Yana 

Hometown: New York, USA 

Work: Teacher, Freelance Social Media Marketer, and founding member of Black Creatives Japan  


Q: What brought you to Japan? 

A:  I think in the beginning it was mainly because I wanted to try something new. I wanted to live outside of the States, and I had a friend who lived in Japan for six months. And her experience wasn’t the greatest but it was interesting and I wanted to try it. And I just wanted to learn a new language and try learning that here. 


Q: How has living in a different country changed your life? 

A: It’s changed my life greatly. I’ve been able to see myself and improve myself without the push of society. It made me prouder to be who I am, prouder to be black, prouder to know how I grew up culturally. ‘Cause I am West Indian-American, and so I grew up knowing a lot of cultures. And then being in Japan made me realize how different I am and also how proud I am to be who I am.  


Q: What advice do you have for Black youth and creatives? 

A: Be curious about outside of where you live. Where you live is very small. So just be curious, learn as much as you can, and learn about different cultures. Don’t let your anxiety stop you. And whenever you feel that, learn from it, ‘cause failing isn’t the end of the world. It means it’s the start of your journey, or it could be a hiccup but it’s something you learn from, correct, and keep going.