Life in Japan (from age 4 through high school)

Lisa arrived in Japan with her family in 1961. She was enrolled in a Japanese preschool in Tokyo speaking no Japanese and the teachers spoke no English. She learned Japanese very quickly out of necessity!!


For kindergarten, Lisa attended a school on the Camp Zama military base. This is a photo from that period of time. In 1963, the De Young family moved to Shizuoka which was their home base for the next 20 years.

Lisa at age 8 with sister Paulette posing with neighbor Chieko as she prepared for her wedding. Legend has it that the big ceremonial hat covers the horns of the bride!!   Lisa with two school friends getting ready to go to school with book bags on backs. (2nd grade)Lisa attended Japanese public school for 3 years
Lisa's second grade class in Shizuoka, Japan. She was the only Caucasian student in the school. She is standing beside her favorite teacher Suganuma Sensei. Notice there are 53 students in the class!!


Lisa and other gaijin (foreigners) were often called upon to be in commercials and TV programs. This is an ad for a World Wide Christmas sale.
For grades 5 through 8, Lisa attended a one room missionary school with 6 to 8 other students. She was always the smartest in her class (of one student!!).
Lisa attended the American School in Japan (in Tokyo) for her 4 years of high school and lived in a Lutheran dormitory. Lisa (on the left) and other students from the high school dorm in Tokyo sang together on many occassions.
Lisa's dad was a Lutheran missionary. Here is her family (mom, dad, sister Paulette, brother David) and the pastor of the local church and his family. Both Rev and Dr. De Young were professors of English at the Shizuoka University.