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.
Fredrick Douglas Kakinami Cloyd was born in Japan shortly after the U.S. Occupation officially ended. His African-American/Cherokee father was an occupation soldier in Korea and Japan while Fredrick's mother—a Japanese/Chinese/Austro-Hungarian girl of the war-ruins was from an elite nationalist family in Japan. Transnational racisms and sexisms during the rise of U.S. and Japanese global stature presents a foundation through which Fredrick weaves his stories of memory and family history.
He received a masters degree from a postcolonial/feminist-oriented social cultural anthropology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He feeds his love of Asian and Latin foods, coffee, TV shows, music, and steam trains while working on his first interstitial auto-ethnography entitled: "Dream of the Water Children, dream of the water children."