Jasmine Wu was born in Yokosuka City, Japan , near one of the biggest US military bases.
Both her parents are Chinese, with numerous relatives living in China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, US, and Thailand.
Jasmine’s life bridges two cultures, Japanese and Chinese. She went to Chinese middle School in Yokohama (this school has both kindergarten and elementary school, so it’s not middle school), where one of the biggest China towns in Asian is located. The inside of her house was Chinese but the outside of her house was Japanese.
After she graduated from her Chinese school, she attended a Japanese high school. After graduation she travelled to the US, then returned to Japan where she attended a Japanese University in Osaka. Due to her international environment she was interested in going to the US to studying abroad.
Jasmine has always been very good at dancing and singing and enjoys performing in front of people. She learned to perform Chinese ethnic folk dances with Chinese friends in Chinatown. She also joined her high school dance team and danced Hip-hop, Reggae, Jazz, and Rock. She also joined a Brazilian Samba team with Brazilian girls in Japan when I started studying at University in Osaka.
I knew the culture at home and outside of the house. Also my family has some Japanese culture too, so I think I have my own culture. Sometimes I didn’t even know I was behaving in a Japanese way.
Jasmine started as a hair model when she was 16 years in her hometown area. Her modeling pictures were featured in some magazine and posters. It was one of her big dream to be an actress, singer and dancer since when she was little. She had been approached by talent scouts when she was in middle school but her parents did not want her to pursue it as a career. “My dream seemed very far away from my future.”
Jasmine won the grand-prix of Queen of her university and placed second in the Miss Queen of Queens of Universities Pageant. This pageant is to determine the best of best queens of all the universities in Japan. She competed in the Miss Hong Kong pageant in 2010 but due to scheduling conflicts with the Shanghai EXPO she was unable to finish.
She model often while attending university although sometimes she found it very hard to balance studying and working.
Since she already could speak Japanese, English, and Chinese she began learning Spanish at University. Her interest in Latin American culture, people, way of thinking ,and of course Latin dance increased. Jasmine decided to move to Mexico to learn and experience the culture and people. In Japan, she had worked as a reporter on a local TV program and decided to study journalism at the University in Monterrey, Mexico.
“I feel the life in Mexico is totally, completely different than the life in Japan. I am not working at all, and it’s a totally different environment..having so much fun and great experiences every day. Also, I love people here. I am not sure about my future, I mean I am not cleared if I am going to keep my modeling job and working on TV, or start job hunting after I graduate (I have one semester left in Japan after this study abroad), but I am just enjoying every single moment now. We young people should try whatever things we want to and we can as much as possible, as long as we are healthy. Life is short.”
ASIANCE: Jasmine, it is a great to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. I find it fascinating that you grew up in a Chinese household in Japan. How was the mix of cultures growing up? Was it confusing?
Jasmine: It’s my pleasure to meet you too. Thanks for taking interest in me. For me, it wasn’t confusing; I knew the culture at home and outside of the house. Also my family has some Japanese culture too, so I think I have my own culture. Sometimes I didn’t even know I was behaving in a Japanese way. But now, I really appreciate that I have this environment to understand both cultures. I like it very much.
ASIANCE: When you went from Chinese school and attended Japanese high school were you accepted by the students there?
Jasmine: Yes. Because I had many Japanese friends since I went to Japanese school until I attended the Chinese school. I knew about Japanese school life, and also I think I understand Japanese customs more than Chinese since I lived in Japan. But actually, I had some difficulty in understanding the way of thinking and how they spend time on their school life. So I was always independent from everyone, while others were always gathering as some groups which are a big part of Japanese culture. I had a part time job, was a member of a dance team with high school friends and also had a Chinese ethnic folklore dance team with overseas Chinese friends which always had many performance events. I was also learning piano at piano school, and was taking on modeling jobs as a high school student. Those were very, very busy days but I did all the things I wanted to do.
ASIANCE: Your college days must have been very stressful. You worked a part time job, modeled, danced and had to complete your schoolwork. How were you able to handle the workload?
Jasmine: I don’t even know how I was being able to handle all the things. I just kept going. It was very important to plan all the things in advance so my school life was very scheduled and I always carried my schedule book. Sometimes I felt like I was doing too much but when I found a good opportunity or chance, I always wanted to try and catch it. That’s why I was working with many companies. I think in Japan it’s very common that university students go to study and work, even they work very hard.
ASIANCE: Tell us a little about what you like about modeling?
Jasmine: Well, I was always fascinated when I saw some beautiful models on a magazine or in the movies, TV, etc.
Also, since I was little, I always liked to be in front of people and perform. I think I like expressing feelings. Expressing something that makes people smile and share. That’s why I was interested. I like trying myself.
I also like when everyone who is involved is trying to make the best work on a photo shoot and make the best result. That makes me do so as well, and even about school work, a part-time job, this makes me get in a good vibe. It makes me do my best on everything. As a model, I share my opinions with photographers and other staff. They are so creative. I like sharing good ideas and I like making one object including my idea. I think it’s one of the arts. I enjoy it very much, usually I keep in touch with people who I have worked and sometimes they ask me to do another job.
ASIANCE: Is there a certain type of modeling you prefer?
Jasmine: I would like to try any type of modeling, but I think I am good at wedding modeling. So far, I have tried wedding, Japanese kimono, Japanese wedding, fashion ,etc.
ASIANCE: When you arrived in Mexico did you like it right away or did it take some time to adjust?
Jasmine: Well actually I liked it when I just arrived here, I didn’t have any difficulty of adjusting myself .People, the weather and the culture is great!
ASIANCE: How about Mexican food? What have you tried there that you like? What do you dislike?
Jasmine: Yes, the food is the very important part for me. I have tried the most basic, famous Mexican foods so far, and I like most of them.
I don’t have anything that I cannot eat or dislike. I just cannot eat a lot like Mexican people. I envy them.lol
There are a lot of spicy foods. It is one of the famous things about Mexico, and since I am already used to eat a lot of spicy Chinese food, I love putting spicy salsa on every food like the custom in Mexico. There are so many recipes of homemade foods especially because they have been influenced by the Indians(Natives).
ASIANCE: Have you had the opportunity to do any traveling and have you seen any of the sights in Mexico?
Jasmine: Well, this semester I went to on a few short trips, but I went to Guanajuato and Mexico city as a trip. I would love to go to beaches and more historical sight-seeing places next semester.
ASIANCE: Is there a large Asian student group where you are located?
Jasmine: Actually, no. There are some Asian international exchange students but there are very few Asian students, and most of them are Korean. But there are many Mexican Sushi and Chinese restaurants. I think there are a lot of Asian people in the south of Mexico and they have many Asian communities.
ASIANCE: You are almost done with your study abroad. Will you continue to study journalism in Japan or do you think your experiences in Mexico may have changed your interests?
Jasmine: I am not sure about it. But I am still learning, so I would like to continue more and I am also interested in studying sociology and stage acting. I would like to learn more and do a better job of reporting on TV.
ASIANCE: I know you have not decided but will you continue your modeling and dancing career as well?
Jasmine: Yes! Definitely! I think that’s my favorite job, and my favorite hobby! Let me know if you know of some interesting job!