My father’s name is takashi koshi. He wanted to keep his name in lowercase whenever printed for the purpose of standing out. Dad was born in Denver, Colorado. With very few Japanese Americans like himself around, standing out was never a problem. In contrast to his efforts, his parents wanted desperately for him and his siblings to “fit in.” They gave their children names like Howard and Stanley. Names they perceived to be as American as possible.
Dad was a child prodigy of sorts. He took to the piano like none other. On summers he took advantage of a perk at his school that very few did and rented out a number different instruments, learning as many as he could. He went on to travel the world after getting his Masters at Oberlin Conservatory, and eventually became be the musician for the only government sponsored modern dance company in Taiwan, known as Cloud Gate Dance Theatre.
Dad thought it important to pass down the art of improvisation and dance accompaniment to his son. And so I did my best to honor that. Now I’ve left an island in the Pacific for the next chapter in my own American experience.
- Read more American Stories.
- Share YOUR American Story and we’ll publish it on the PNB Blog.
- Come see American Stories at PNB, June 3-12