Japanese Americans & Japan: Legacies – Interview with Susan Morita

The “Japanese Americans & Japan: Legacies” series continued with an interview of Susan Morita, Partner at Arnold & Porter. During the interview, Ms. Morita shared stories about her childhood, career and experiences as a Japanese American. 

Ms. Morita is a successful lawyer who represents domestic and international clients in a variety of industries. She is active in the Japanese American community and is a member of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) Board of Trustees. She was a member of the 2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) class and is on the USJC Legacy Council.

Ms. Morita described her lifelong participation in the Japanese American community and close relationship with her grandparents. She also maintains a love for ikebana, a hobby which she developed in her youth. She detailed her career journey and how her work bridges U.S. and Japanese companies and cultures. She noted, “I really grew up in an environment where the Japanese culture was very, very central.”

She expressed her attachment to JANM and USJC, explaining, “I view my involvement at USJC to be in part… a tribute to my grandparents and their legacy.” Ms. Morita spoke warmly of her JALD experience and USJC Founding President, the late Irene Hirano Inouye. When asked about her fundamental values, respect and honesty were discussed. She said, “I think… the combination of respect and honesty allows us to speak truth to ourselves and to each other, including truth to power.”

The interview with Ms. Morita is available to watch online here.

The Legacy series is produced and moderated by Council Leaders Dianne Fukami (JALD ’09) and Debra Nakatomi (JALD ’09), who together co-produced a TV documentary “An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy,” on the life and career of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (Vice Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors). This series is brought to you through a mix of live webinars and privately recorded sessions released on YouTube.