It’s interesting having kids who are half Japanese and half American, and my wife and I put quite a lot of thought into what kind of identity we want them to have. It’s important to both of us that the Japanese side of our kids be “complete,” but exactly what is it to be Japanese? To me, it means that they should have received their compulsory education in Japan and learned their kanji (check), should be able to eat natto, the famous fermented soybeans (check), and should generally get the cultural references that other Japanese get. Also, when they grow up, they should be able to have a conversation that names no actual subjects in sentences and takes five minutes to get to the point. (Just kidding.) Of course, the American side is equally important, and we’ve always taken steps to expose them to as many aspects of life in the U.S. as we can, including summer camp each year, sightseeing trips to D.C., and awareness of fun events like Halloween, Christmas and so on. My kids are also familiar with all the Schoolhouse Rock songs and the full catalog of Weird Al Yankovich.
I’ve made sure to teach my kids the important stuff about being American.