Masami Suga

From: Osaka, Japan  Current City: Lilydale, MN
"Just because you have a so-called culture or cultural background doesn’t mean your culture is set in stone. Culture is very fluid."
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Masami Suga was determined to make her own life decisions. She left Japan and headed to the United States for a few months of English classes. However, a few months turned into 28 years.

Ms. Suga was born in Osaka, Japan. Her parents owned a successful auto body shop operating out of the first floor of their apartment. When she was twelve, Masami became involved in competitive swimming and devoted several hours a day to it.  Her first experience in the United States came during a cross-cultural exchange with a California swim team. She had such a wonderful time with her friends and host family that she would to return to study English.

Faced with cultural pressure to marry young, Ms. Suga left for Minnesota to take ESL classes. While her trip was only supposed to last three months, her stay grew longer as she took courses at a community college and then at Macalester College where she majored in anthropology. After earning her PhD and working as an assistant director of Refugee Studies Center at the University of Minnesota, Masami left the world of academia and returned to her roots—business.

Currently, Ms. Suga is a realtor with Edina Realty. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and son. She is proud to have a bilingual child and ensures he visits Japan frequently.


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