One thing that struck me in my study of history is how people are excluded. I don't mean just racial minorities or women. Pretty much all poor people who don't have documents are excluded from history and its records. People who were illiterate usually didn't leave any primary documents.
Koreans love to dance; they love to sing. If you actually know Koreans, you see how absurd the stereotype of the 'Asian robot' is. They love to laugh - they're very affectionate. Maybe because of their history of oppression, when they feel you are part of their tribe, they are intensely loyal. I love that about Koreans!
I had thought that Tokyo would be like New York City, but it wasn't. I'd imagined that they'd be similar in their bustle and noise level, but, in fact, Tokyo is a very calm metropolis. The bright lights and hectic night-life images so often found in advertisements and Western media do not reflect every day Japan.
After I quit being a lawyer in '95, I was having a lot of trouble writing. Then I read somewhere that Willa Cather read a chapter of the Bible every day before she started work. I thought, 'Okay, I'll try it.' Before each writing session, I started to read the Bible like a writer, thinking about language, character, and themes.