A lot has been going on. If anyone's still reading this blog, I welcome you back. I'll be doing a lot more updates from now on. Here's what's happening:
My name officially changed to Sean Sakamoto. Now I'm a tall, white guy with a Japanese name. I love it. My new name is like a litmus test. When I introduce myself I get a sneak peek at someone's disposition, based on their reaction.
Most people don't even bat an eye. They just say they're pleased to meet me and that's that. One guy looked me in the eye, peering intently and then slowly shook his head,
"Ah, yes, I see it."
"It's only in your mind," I said.
Other folks will ask, "Are you half?" to which I reply, "Yes. My mom's German and my dad's Dutch." Which gets a confused look before I explain that I took my wife's name.
Women tend to love it that I took my wife's name, and I can see why. Every now and then I'll meet a woman who chose not to take her husband's name on principle. They often ask why I took Noriko's name and I'll explain that I liked the sound, or that I wanted my son to have one last name, or that it felt like a gift I could give my wife, all of which are true.
That makes things a bit awkward, though it shouldn't. There's a big difference between electing to take my partner's name, and doing so out of a sense of tradition, especially when that tradition has common roots with other traditions that limited women's choices.
It's really fun having taken my wife's name. I get credit from people that I like: feminists and liberals, credit which I don't really deserve since I made my choice for personal reasons and it hasn't really required much sacrifice. I get scorn from men sometimes, they'll ask me what my 'maiden name' was, but I got scorn from those fellas long before I became my wife's bitch.
So, anyway, I'm a Sakamoto now. A big, white, Sakamoto, and I'm proud of it.