Shannon Takushi was born and raised in Manila, Philippines where she grew up speaking English and Japanese. Her background growing up in a multi-cultural environment has molded Shannon’s interests in cultural diplomacy, cross-cultural relations, and communications. She has a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Richmond and a Master’s in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. Currently Shannon enjoys promoting the US-Japan relationship at her job as Chief of Staff of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures. Together with Duncan Williams, Shannon played a major role in bringing mixed-race Japanese people together at the Hapa Japan Festival in Los Angeles.
Roland Kelts is a Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and a co-editor of the New York-based literary journal, A Public Space. His first novel, Access, will be published next year. His articles, essays, and stories have been published in Zoetrope, Playboy, Doubletake, Salon, The Village Voice, Newsday, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and The Japan Times, among others. He has lectured at New York University, Rutgers University and Barnard College, and he is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University. He currently splits his time between New York and Tokyo.