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Japanese-Black author, Grace E. Lee introduces new book at Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival

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Ms. Grace Etsuko Lee, international etiquette trainer, author, public speaker and founder of Grace Lee International, is releasing her first book, Little Caterpillar in Training: A Culture in Transition and its Mixed Child in Post-war Japan. She will be at the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, June 12-13, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Japanese-American Museum in downtown Los Angeles. President Obama’s sister, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, will also attend. For more information on the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, please go to
Grace Lee speaks and conducts workshops on international and Western etiquette.

Ms. Lee spent the first fourteen years of her life in post-war Japan. Her mother, from a socially prominent Japanese family, and her father, a Black Ivy League American working with the army on reconstruction, made sure she was well-versed in both Japanese and Western social graces. Japan, an island nation insulated from other cultures, was unique in its racial purity and centuries-old culture. As a mixed-blood child, Grace was not readily accepted and experienced many challenges. Although she was shunned by some and considered an oddity by all, Grace not only survived, she was actually able to thrive due to the upper class language she learned from her mother and the proud but friendly mannerisms she learned from her father. In the process, she found a way to transform prejudice into acceptance in any social situation and gain life-changing skills and insights. The amazing experiences recounted in her book will help anyone struggling with prejudice or discrimination.

Lee is a master at finding humor and poignancy in any situation as she recalls scenes from her childhood, such as her Japanese grandfather's infatuation with turtle blood, the little-known Japanese bathhouse culture, and how mistresses was a normal part of upper class Japanese marriages. The book offers an intimate glimpse into Japanese culture through the innocent eyes of a mixed-blood child as she struggles for acceptance, guided by her wise father who meets prejudice with a disarming smile and passes profound life lessons on to his young daughter. "When people would stare at us on the street, Father would say, “That’s cause we’re good look’in. They are just curious. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat it made him wiser, " Grace recalls. "Prejudice comes from lack of knowledge,” she adds. "Ignorance creates judgment, but to be curious means we're learning. And confidence and inner peace come from knowledge." Little Caterpillar will give you a rare glimpse into Japanese culture and a mixed-blood child's fight for acceptance that you'll never forget.

For more information on the book, please visit or call Grace Lee at 661-347-6330.

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