Name- Tomoko Tadeshi.
In the Japanese culture, the first name follows the family name. Therefore,
in Japan Tomoko is called Tadeshi (family name), Tomoko (first name).
We will refer to her as Tomoko.
Full Birth Date- August
Current Age- 7 years old
Country of Birth- Yokohama,
Ethnic Group- Japanese ancestry
Japanese (Nihongo in Japanese) is believed to be Korean and other
Description of language situation in
• The Japanese dialects are divided into Eastern and Western
• The Japanese language is independent of syntax (i.e. colorless
green ideas sleep furiously; the man saw the boy with the telescope)
• The Japanese language has verbal ambiguity (i.e. …time
flies like an arrow…fruit flies like a banana)
• The Japanese language has semantic confusion (i.e. …every
farmer who has a donkey beats it).
• Language Spoken at home- like many Japanese families, Tomoko
uses the common dialect, which is based on the dialect spoken in Tokyo,
the political and economic center of Japan.
Tomoko is an only child, and she lives with her parents, Tabito (father)
and Emiko (mother) Tadeshi, and her paternal grandparents, Takehide
(grandfather) and Fusae (grandmother) Tadeshi. The Tadeshi family
owns a general store in East Buffalo, and various members of the family
run it. Tomoko’s parents speak both Japanese and English, but
her grandparents can only speak Japanese. The Tadeshi family speaks
mostly Japanese in the home, but they use both languages in public
settings such as in their general store. Tomoko’s parents encourage
her to use both languages when appropriate.
Description of parent’s attitudes towards
USA, home country, 1st language use, use of English at home-
Tomoko’s parents are hard working people that have strict values
and practices that they brought over with them from their own country.
Their attitudes toward the USA are optimistic. They see America as
a good economical change that will be beneficial for Tomoko. Tomoko’s
parents still try to utilize the cultural practices that they did
in Japan. They still use their 1st language but mostly when they are
at home or with family and friends. They want Tomoko to be fluent
in both languages so she will have an advantage.
Other descriptions of home atmosphere, cultural
practices in home and connections of family with heritage language
community organizations (proactive/passive etc)-
Tomoko lives with her mother, father, and grandparents. Her family
owns a general store so they spend most of their time working at the
store. The store is full of color and represents her heritage. The
Tadeshi family maintains many Japanese practices such as taking of
your shoes and replacing them with house slippers before entering
the home, eating at low “Japanese style” tables with cushions
on the ground, greeting others with a bow (the more prestigious the
person, the lower you bow), and having a respectful attitude for those
individuals in authority (i.e. Mr., Ms., Sir, Mam). Some table manners
include not blowing your nose in public, as well as at the table,
finishing all of the food that is on your plate, and refraining from
burping or engaging in any “toilet” or equally inappropriate
conversation. The connection with her family is very close. They honor
their elders so the grandparents play a major roll in decision-making.
They are proactive when it comes to practicing their culture at home.
Other relevant information about family (current
living conditions / socio-economic status/ type of home dwelling)-
They currently live in New York and own a general store. They make
decent money from the store and are of a middle class status.
General description of the community
in which the family now resides-
There are a total of 8,008,278 people in New York, and 22,636 of those
people are Japanese. The Tadeshis live in Buffalo, New York. They
live in a small neighborhood of predominantly Caucasian people. Their
neighbors on the right, the only other Asian family in the neighborhood,
moved to New York from Japan eight years ago. There are two general
stores within walking distance, and the Tadeshi family owns one of
Linguistic Description of the community
in which the Family now resides-
Twenty-five percent of the New York population Latino/Hispanic and
a large portion of those individuals live in Buffalo. English and
Spanish are dominant in the city, however, English is the main language
spoken in the Tadeshi’s neighborhood.
The Tadeshi family moved to America because
they wanted to open a general store and America seemed like the “Land
of Opportunity”. They also wished to broaden Tomoko’s
schema by exposing her another culture.
Age at which case participant came
to America- 5-years-old
Grade of case participant-
Description of physical features of
Tomoko has short black hair, big brown eyes, and olive/tan skin. She
is almost 4 feet tall, and she weighs 54 pounds. Tomoko was born without
a pointer finger on her left hand, but she has adapted to the physical
handicap and functions well.
Description of personality of case
Tomoko is a quiet and very respectful child. She is very intelligent,
and works well independently. However, because she is so shy, Tomoko
struggles with making new friends.
Description of current social life
of case participant-
Tomoko’s best friend is her Japanese neighbor, Benkei Bando.
Benkei is 7-years-old, and attends the same school as Tomoko. Tomoko
and Benkei are not in the same class, but the two children sit together
at lunch. Although Tomoko is quiet in school, she is very outgoing
at home and at the general store. Tomoko makes friend with the adult
shoppers very easily.