Tripp Tokioka

My name is Tripp Tokioka, I use he/him pronouns, and my non-English name is Japanese, and it’s Makoto.

Something about me growing up. Well, growing up in Honolulu. It was a very integrated place, so I never felt like I was the only Asian kid in my neighborhood, I certainly wasn’t, but I also didn’t feel like it was just me and 100 other Asian kids. There were people of every race and every ethnicity there and I feel like that was something that not a lot of Asian-Americans can say they’ve experienced, but I was very fortunate to grow up in that place where I could experience a variety of traditions even within the Asian continent. I felt very lucky.

I feel like despite growing up in a very integrated place, going to Carleton was different because I was exposed to a lot of other cultures, non-Asian ones like Latino, Black culture as well. Those are ethnic groups that aren’t represented where I’m from, so there was a limit to growing up to 18 years in a place and saying “Oh, I’ve met every group”. Well, I’ve met every Asian group, but there’s more to the world than just Asia.

Staying rooted in my culture is really a combination of both acknowledging the first 18 years of my life and all of the cultural experiences I consider indigenous to me and also putting myself out there and learning about other cultures. [It’s about] refusing to stay insulated in a cultural bubble. To stay rooted, you have to explore outwards as well.