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During their time in Tokyo, Suzy, a third-generation Japanese American, reconnected with her heritage by befriending local women and exploring the country. “And that turned out to be a really tremendous experience for her,” John recalls. “Leaving Japan was really a problem. She had really made a lot of good friends and coming back to America was not at the top of her list at the time, so with that the question became, ‘How do you incorporate Cape Cod/Nantucket styles together with the Japanese style?’” Back stateside, acquaintances on the Cape had recommended the couple consider Architectural Design Incorporated in Orleans where they met Andrew Miao, who, as it turns out, is Chinese and grew up in Taiwan in a Japanese-style house. Together, John, Suzy and Andrew spent countless hours collaborating on a custom home design that integrated traditional Japanese influence with Cape Cod architecture, a process they agree was challenging but that has reaped tremendous rewards.

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Andrea E. McHugh, a former editor at Newport Life magazine, is a freelance writer living in Rhode Island.

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