Blog Entries by Sheryl Takagi Silzer

Sheryl Takagi Silzer

Sheryl Takagi Silzer is a third generation Japanese American. She worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Colombia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia as a Bible translator. For the past twenty-five years she has worked as a multicultural consultant leading Cultural Self-Discovery workshops for sending agencies, schools, and churches around the world.
Sheryl has written numerous articles and two books: Biblical Multicultural Teams: Applying Biblical Truth to Cultural Differences and Tapestry of Grace: Untangling the Cultural Complexities of Asian American Life and Ministry co-authored with Ben Shin which explores Asian vs American cultural identity. Her own cross-cultural mission stress related to three bouts of cancer motivated her to study cultural identity. She co-taught the “Asian Church in American Society” class as an adjunct at Talbot School of Theology for 20 years.
Sheryl and her husband Peter have two married sons and five grandchildren.

Blog Entries

The Impact of Buddhism

Even When It Is More Cultural than Belief

In Asian culture, often anyone who is born in a Buddhist country is considered a Buddhist. It’s not uncommon for people with a strong family identity to consider their family and religion together.

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Saving Face

In Chinese culture the concept of face is a very important part of social interaction and is specific to the group or family to which the person belongs.

Blog Entries

Reciprocity—Goes Both Ways and Keeps on Going

Building relationships through sharing resources.

Blog Entries


Or, Do I Have to Give Them Something to Make Friends?

When we lived in Asia, I was constantly asked for things and especially for money. Being a typical American, I was offended with their constant asking. I discovered later that asking for favors was a means of developing relationships.

Blog Entries

The Importance of Filial Piety

Especially at a Distance

Our friends in Asia suspected that we did not want to take care of our family members, our parents in particular, and so we came to their country. They couldn’t understand that we had come for any other reason.

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Chinese vs American Family

Don’t Tell Me What to Do!

I didn’t understand that by disagreeing with my parents and older people that I was not showing them respect and returning the care they had given me.

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Cultural Identity—East vs West

Or Why They Cause Me Stress

In Asia I experienced a lot of cultural stress but didn’t know why. Not only was I trying to adjust to a different culture, but I was also dealing with unconscious American and Japanese cultural values.