(In part 1, we find out about the ‘In-Between Club‘ podcast and how it came to be from its co-hosts, Yasuha Miura and Tomoka Mori.)
Identity and roots of the ‘In-between Club‘
Growing up as TCKs/CCKs, many of us struggle with an “identity crisis” at some point in our lives. We hide parts of ourselves in order to “fit in” to a particular group or space. Sometimes hiding our identities and true selves makes us feel some kind of guilt or even some sense of suffocation. Those feelings can also form a sort of resentment toward things such as cultures and family members, while also damaging our self-respect.
However, we believe that because of these experiences, many TCKs/CCKs have the unique power to evolve and transform into the best version of themselves. We believe that every unique story should be valued and that these extraordinary stories have the power to change lives.
This is why at the “In-Between Club,” we strive to deliver the voices of individuals, and endeavor in encouraging TCKs/CCKs to allow being genuine to who they intuitively know themselves as. Our goal is to inspire TCKs/CCks to advance their self-actualization journeys through these processes and discoveries.
Our goal is to inspire TCKs/CCks to advance their self-actualization journeys.
All of us have roots or links to Japan. Just as every other TCK worldwide does, we think Japanese TCKs have their own unique experiences aligned with the country’s culture. Among the entire TCK/CCK population and regions in the world, Japan is certainly one of the countries that has a deep polarization between TCKs and Non-TCKs. With those aspects in light, we also wanted to create a space that can contribute in developing awareness and understanding of cross-cultural individuals who have roots in Japan.
Phenomenal discovery of the term ‘TCK’/‘CCK’
Including these terminologies into our platform was significant to us as these two words have helped us to understand and make sense of our lives and existences. All of us knew the word “TCK/CCK” before we had started the podcast and remember the feeling of liberation running through our veins encountering the ideas and definitions behind it.
Just like many other TCKs, coming across these terms through Ruth Van Reken’s book “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds” was a life-changing experience. It helped us feel recognized and seen in a way that we had never felt. Everything we had experienced as a cross-cultural individual suddenly started to make sense. They were the beginnings of our journeys to connect the unfinished dots, stories and emotions we had left behind internally through our experiences and challenges we faced during childhood. As such powerful terms that have the potential to change the entire outlook of a person’s life, we believe it is meaningful to share this word with a larger audience.
Why storytelling? Why podcasting?
The reason why we chose a podcast as the main platform for the in-between club is because we strongly believe in the power of storytelling. As TCKs/CCKs, many of us may share widely common traits and experiences, but certainly have unique and extraordinary stories that we have normalized and overseen the values of.
Validating our stories and sharing them can help us heal the pain and unresolved grief that we each have locked in ourselves. Through storytelling, we can learn about and sometimes even empathize with others and ourselves, given a deeper understanding of people’s backgrounds and history.
Validating our stories and sharing them can help us heal the pain and unresolved grief that we each have locked in ourselves.
Most importantly, we believe storytelling gives an incredible opportunity to widen people’s perspectives and curiosity. That is the ultimate reason why we like to invite guests to our podcast, sharing the many experiences and wisdom they have to offer. This allows both us and the listeners to continue the learning, growing experience and exploration of ourselves together.
Inspiration, empowerment and deep-dives for self exploration
Similar to the power of storytelling, we see the In-Between Club as a space to inspire and empower one another. Instead of using a podcast as an informative tool, we place more focus on creating a space for people to be able to dive into their vulnerability. We share personal stories and experiences that can resonate with others and discussions that may pose a completely different perspective to listeners.
Due to the common nature of TCKs/CCKs, we may sometimes feel that we are on a solo journey in living cross-culturally because of being far from our friends and families. This sensation of grief, loneliness, or absence of belonging can trigger self-doubt and confusion, incoherence on our own identities and self-esteem.
We feel that there is significance in cultivating awareness of how the past impacts our present and that eventually they can evolve in becoming a transformative force for self-improvement, development and personal growth.
We are convinced that our approach to not only reexamine and delve into pre-existent self story lines, but also to generate critical viewpoints to them, potentially resulting in awareness and mind expansion, makes our podcast special. We hope that we can inspire and empower each other through the many stories and experiences we share together in this space of the In-Between Club.
How the In-Between Club came to be / Why the name ‘In-Between Club?’
We started the podcast in August 2020, when many of us around the globe were adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea came at the beginning of the many quarantines when both of us were ironically, but also with much privilege, given a lot of time to reflect back on our lives.
Even before the pandemic, we both loved discussing and rambling on topics about TCK/CCK life, many of which consisted of experiences on identity searching and of not completely belonging to any of the cultures that we have roots in.
With time, we started to ponder on the idea of bringing our conversations online to a larger community, with the notion that our stories should shed light to many others that have similar thoughts and experiences of living as a TCK.
We feel the podcast has given a louder voice and validation to our struggles and stories, which we had thought until then were unworthy of being shared or even talked about, and could spark others to start conversations and have their voices heard as well.
The reason why we gave our podcast the name “In-Between Club” is because the understanding that we can belong “in-between” cultures was engraved as a critical realization in our lives. We wanted to emphasize the legitimacy and validity of not fitting into pre-existing boxes, and belonging to not just one culture but across multiple cultures and to a mixture of them.
Along with the hopes of playing a role in bridging cultures, groups and ideas, we want to encourage TCKs/CCKs to feel empowered, for them to allow themselves to belong in an “undetermined” space.
The ’In-Between Club’: Our hopes for the future
The “In-Between Club” is currently a project that we have aside of our main careers. At times, the podcast and social media accounts are updated inconsistently to dedicate time for our personal lives and careers. Despite the irregularity we often have in this project, we are incredibly grateful that we have listeners from all parts of the world who listen to and support our podcast. In the future, we hope to expand the community and network with both meetings and workshops where people can directly engage together.
We hope that the ‘In-Between Club’ can continue to evolve as a safe place for everyone to feel empowered, embraced and to be given an opportunity to love oneself for who they are.Tomoka Mori and Yasuha Miura