Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2018-10-08 03:48Z by Steven

Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

The New York Times
2018-10-06

Motoko Rich, Tokyo Bureau Chief


The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun printed a special edition when Naomi Osaka won the United States Open tennis championship in September. Yomiuri Shimbun, via Associated Press

Is Japan becoming more welcoming to mixed-race people?

TOKYO — Just over 40 years ago, when my family moved from California to Tokyo, the fact that my mother was Japanese did not stop schoolchildren from pointing at me and yelling “Gaijin!” — the Japanese word for foreigner — as I walked down the street.

After seeing my red-haired, blue-eyed father, a shopkeeper in the suburb where we lived asked my mother what it was like to work as a nanny in the American’s house.

When we moved back to California two years later, I entered fourth grade and suddenly, I was the Asian kid. “Ching chong chang chong ching!” boys chanted on the playground, tugging at the corners of their eyes. Classmates scrunched their noses at the onigiri — rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed — that my mother packed in my lunch bag. When our teacher mentioned Japan during a social studies lesson, every head in the class swiveled to stare at me.

Now, back in Tokyo as a foreign correspondent for this newspaper, I am no longer pointed at by people on the street. But I am incontrovertibly regarded as a foreigner. When I hand over my business card, people look at my face and then ask in confusion how I got my first name. My Japanese-ness, it seems, barely registers.

In the past few weeks, covering local reaction to the tennis champion Naomi Osaka, the daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father, and Denny Tamaki, who is the son of a Japanese mother and a white American Marine and was elected governor of Okinawa last weekend, I have wondered whether Japanese attitudes toward identity are slowly starting to accommodate those of us with mixed heritages…

Read the entire article here.

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Legacies of Postwar Japan’s “War Bride” Era

Posted in Asian Diaspora, History, Live Events, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-06-30 03:04Z by Steven

Legacies of Postwar Japan’s “War Bride” Era

Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012
Telephone: (213) 625-0414
2018-06-30, 09:00-17:30 PDT (Local Time)

Presented in partnership with the Hapa Japan Project at USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

During and shortly after the US-Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese women who fraternized with soldiers often met opposition from their families and were shunned by other Japanese. Many mixed-raced children faced severe prejudice for being “impure” and born from the former enemy.

This symposium brings together various stakeholders to tell the stories of the war brides and their children. By focusing on the memories, realities, and legacies of this community, this groundbreaking gathering will create opportunities for listening, discussing, healing, and empowering attendees.

Symposium Schedule

9:00am – 9:30am Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Duncan Williams (USC Shinso Ito Center and Hapa Japan Project)
  • Fredrick Cloyd (author of Dream of the Water Children)

9:30am – 10:40am Session 1 – Occupation/Migration: Women, Children and the U.S. Military Presence

  • Etsuko Crissey (author of Okinawa’s GI Brides: Their Lives in America)
  • Mire Koikari (University of Hawai‘i; author of Cold War Encounters in US-Occupied Okinawa: Women, Militarized Domesticity, and Transnationalism in East Asia)
  • Elena Tajima Creef (Wellesley College; author of Imaging Japanese America: The Visual Construction of Citizenship, Nation, and the Body and Following Her Own Road: The Life and Art of Mine Okubo)

10:40am – 11:50am Session 2 – Difference and Other: War-Bride and Mixed-race Children’s Representations

  • Margo Okazawa-Rey (Fielding Graduate University; Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University)
  • Sonia Gomez (University of Chicago; Visiting Scholar, MIT; author of From Picture Brides to War Brides: Race, Gender, and Belonging in the Making of Japanese America)

11:50am – 1:15pm LUNCH BREAK

1:15pm – 2:45pm Session 3 — Book Launch of “Dream of the Water Children: Memory & Mourning in the Black Pacific”

  • Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd (author of Dream of the Water Children)
  • Curtiss Takada Rooks (Loyola Marymount University)
  • Angela Tudico (Archives Specialist, National Archives at New York City)

2 :45pm – 3 :00pm COFFEE/TEA BREAK

3 :00pm – 5 :30pm Session 4 – Film and Discussion of “Giving Voice, The Japanese War Brides”

  • Miki Crawford (Producer/author of Giving Voice, The Japanese War Brides)
  • Kathryn Tolbert (Washington Post; Producer/Director of Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up: The Japanese War Brides)

5:30pm Closing Remarks: Fredrick Cloyd

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-06-10 03:30Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
2018-06-08
470 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Introduction by Gerald Horne
Foreword by Velina Hasu Houston
Edited by Karen Chau

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut, Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, is a lyrical and compelling memoir about a son of an African American father and a Japanese mother who has spent a lifetime being looked upon with curiosity and suspicion by both sides of his ancestry and the rest of society. Cloyd begins his story in present-day San Francisco, reflecting back on a war-torn identity from Japan, U.S. military bases, and migration to the United States, uncovering links to hidden histories.

Dream of the Water Children tells two main stories: Cloyd’s mother and his own. It was not until the author began writing his memoir that his mother finally addressed her experiences with racism and sexism in Occupied Japan. This helped Cloyd make better sense of, and reckon with, his dislocated inheritances. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, Dream of the Water Children delivers a compelling and surprising account of racial and gender interactions. It tackles larger social histories, helping to dispel some of the great narrative myths of race and culture embedded in various identities of the Pacific and its diaspora.

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He searched for his Japanese birth mother. He found her — and the restaurant she had named after him.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2018-05-10 18:45Z by Steven

He searched for his Japanese birth mother. He found her — and the restaurant she had named after him.

The Washington Post
2018-05-08

Kathryn Tolbert


Bruce Hollywood with his mother, Nobue Ouchi. (Courtesy of Bruce Hollywood)

It began with a heart attack in the Pentagon parking lot in pre-dawn darkness. Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood was on his way to work and found himself on the ground, thinking: “This is where it ends.”

Later, as he lay in the ambulance racing to Walter Reed Army Hospital, two regrets popped into his head. One was that he wouldn’t be able to help his son with his college applications. The other was that he never thanked the Japanese woman who gave birth to him, then gave him up for adoption in 1960.

Hollywood was adopted by an American couple who were stationed in Japan with the U.S. military and who could offer him a good life in America.

It took that heart attack in 2005 for Hollywood to set out to find his birth mother, something his adoptive mother, who had passed away, had repeatedly encouraged him to do. Before that, he said, he never felt something was missing. His adoption was not something he had reflected on much.

“I always knew I was adopted because I had Asian features and [my father] was an Irishman and [my mother] was a Norwegian lady,” said Hollywood, 57. “And they always told me, ‘…We picked you out special. So you’re even more special than everyone else.’”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mizuko

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive on 2018-04-20 02:24Z by Steven

Mizuko

Hapa Japan
2018-04-13

Fredrick Cloyd


Featured Image by Edward M. Haugh

During the years of gathering research and thoughts, memory and conversations into some sort of cohesive unit for a book–which would eventually become the forthcoming (Spring 2018 by 2Leaf Press) entitled: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, I had not thought of a title, or a way to fit all the pieces together for the vast amount of links and connections I wanted to make in relation to world historical archive and a definite anti-colonial stance. Yet another story of a unique person in the world was not my goal, although it would also be taken that way. I wanted to reach those who were concerned with looking at the historical present.

In focusing on my mother and myself, it came one day in a dream. Just as the opening scene in my book presents, I am suddenly woken up in the middle of the night to write: みずこ 水子 ミズコ (mizuko) on a notepad I pull out from the bedside drawer. It puzzled me because, at least consciously, I did not know what this word meant or what it was. Then, the next day, I looked it up on the internet. The term mizuko, was the postwar euphemism for aborted fetus, or dead fetus. An entire religious ceremonial ritual grew out of this when the U.S. Occupation lifted its ban on religious ceremonies in Japan. Many women flooded to the countless shrines and statues to pray for those babies gone. Some were so ashamed, they did it in secret. But most women, even after given “permission,” could now do prayers in the forest and write their babies names or burn their incense in the name of that baby they let go from their bodies…

Read the entire article here.

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American granddaughter of Japanese WW2 detainee searches for clues about his life

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2018-03-18 03:02Z by Steven

American granddaughter of Japanese WW2 detainee searches for clues about his life

NHK World
2018-03-14

Fumio Kanda

The life of a Japanese man who went to the US in search of opportunity was torn apart by World War Two. His life has since been clouded in mystery. Now his granddaughter is on a quest to trace his roots, and connect the pieces of his life.

Growing up, Regina Boone always felt a sense of mystery about her grandfather. But when she turned 13, her father Raymond finally revealed the news. “He just said that ‘You have a Japanese grandfather. I am half-Japanese and half-Black.’ And that makes me one-quarter Japanese. But I didn’t want to make my father uncomfortable. So I stepped back from asking more questions,” she says.

Over the years, Regina’s curiosity grew. And a decade later, she received an old photograph from her father. It was of her grandfather. “It kind took my breath away, actually. Because I didn’t know what to expect,” she says…

View the story here.

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I’m Raising A Biracial Daughter In Japan, Where She’s Surrounded By Blackface

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2018-03-17 23:56Z by Steven

I’m Raising A Biracial Daughter In Japan, Where She’s Surrounded By Blackface

The Huffington Post
2018-03-05

Tracy Jones, Guest Writer


Tracy Jones
Me, my wife, Haruki, and daughter, Kantra.

I live in Tokyo, in a homogenous society where 98.5 percent of the population is Japanese. My wife Haruki is Japanese, and my 4-year-old daughter Kantra is the only black girl in her preschool class. I remember when the Japanese delivery nurse called her Halle Berry immediately after my wife gave birth to her.

They were the first words my daughter ever heard. When the nurse sensed my confusion, she tried to improve her comment: “Naomi Campbell?”

Kantra was born in the summer of 2013. As a stay-at-home dad, I used online compilations of Sesame Street to teach her the alphabet, colors, shapes and numbers in English. I thought about getting a TV, but my wife explained to me that Japanese television programs regularly use blackface. Minus watching Japanese TV when visiting my in-laws, I never paid it much attention.

I moved to Japan in 2011 and for the first two years, I couldn’t figure out if I was insane or if Japan was like America where, as a black person, I was accustomed to sensing white fear and the possible danger of it harming my body…

Read the entire article here.

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What it means to be a mixed-race model in Japan

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Interviews, Media Archive, Videos on 2017-11-27 02:25Z by Steven

What it means to be a mixed-race model in Japan

CNN Style
Cable News Network (CNN)
2017-11-24

Writers:

Stephy Chung, CNN
Junko Ogura, CNN

Contributors:

Momo Moussa, CNN
Tomo Umewaka, CNN

For 18-year-old model Rina Fukushi, Tokyo is home. But growing up as a mixed-race child in Japan wasn’t always easy. With a Japanese-American father and a Filipina mother, Fukushi was one of a growing number of biracial individuals identifying as “hafu” — a phonetic play on the English word “half.”

“I was teased when I was in elementary and junior high school because I looked foreign,” she recalled in an interview with CNN.

The term hafu was first popularized in the 1970s as Japan loosened its approach towards foreign residents, giving them better access to public housing, insurance and job opportunities. An increased number of US soldiers in the country also contributed to an upsurge in mixed-race marriages and biracial children.

Despite increasingly progressive attitudes towards race in Japan, the country’s immigration numbers have remained comparatively low. Foreigners and their hafu children often live as outsiders, a topic explored in the 2011 documentary “Hafu: The Mixed Race Experience in Japan.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2017-07-21 18:58Z by Steven

Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Routledge
2017-06-15
250 pages
1 B/W Illus.
Hardback ISBN: 9781138282674
eBook ISBN: 9781315270579

Edited by:

Zarine L. Rocha, Managing Editor
Current Sociology and the Asian Journal of Social Science

Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology
University of Western Australia

Mixed racial and ethnic identities are topics of increasing interest around the world, yet studies of mixed race in Asia are rare, despite its particular salience for Asian societies.

Mixed Race in Asia seeks to reorient the field to focus on Asia, looking specifically at mixed race in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India. Through these varied case studies, this collection presents an insightful exploration of race, ethnicity, mixedness and belonging, both in the past and present. The thematic range of the chapters is broad, covering the complexity of lived mixed race experiences, the structural forces of particular colonial and post-colonial environments and political regimes, and historical influences on contemporary identities and cultural expressions of mixedness.

Adding significant richness and depth to existing theoretical frameworks, this enlightening volume develops markedly different understandings of, and recognizes nuances around, what it means to be mixed, practically, theoretically, linguistically and historically. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral and other researchers interested in fields such as Race and Ethnicity, Sociology and Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Mixed Race in Asia / Zarine L. Rocha and Farida Fozdar
  • Section One: China and Vietnam
    • Chapter One: “A Class by Themselves”: Battles over Eurasian Schooling in Late-19th-Century Shanghai / Emma J. Teng
    • Chapter Two: Mixing Blood and Race: Representing Hunxue in Contemporary China / Cathryn Clayton
    • Chapter Three: Métis of Vietnam: An Historical Perspective on Mixed-Race Children from the French Colonial Period / Christina Firpo
  • Section Two: South Korea and Japan
    • Chapter Four: Developing bilingualism in a largely monolingual society: Southeast Asian marriage migrants and multicultural families in South Korea / Mi Yung Park
    • Chapter Five: Haafu Identity in Japan: half, mixed or double? / Alexandra Shaitan and Lisa J. McEntee-Atalianis
    • Chapter Six: Claiming Japaneseness: recognition, privilege and status in Japanese-Filipino ‘mixed’ ethnic identity constructions / Fiona-Katharina Seiger
  • Section Three: Malaysia and Singapore
    • Chapter Seven: Being “Mixed” in Malaysia: Perspectives on Ethnic Diversity / Caryn Lim
    • Chapter Eight: Chinese, Indians and the Grey Space in between: Acceptance of Malaysian Chindians in a plural society / Rona Chandran
    • Chapter Nine: ‘Our Chinese’: The Mixedness of Peranakan Chinese Identities in Kelantan, Malaysia / Pue Giok Hun
    • Chapter Ten: Eurasian as Multiracial: mixed race, gendered categories and identity in Singapore / Zarine L. Rocha
  • Section Four: India and Indonesia
    • Chapter Eleven: Is the Anglo-Indian ‘Identity Crisis’ a Myth? / Robyn Andrews
    • Chapter Twelve: When Hybridity Encounters Hindu Purity Fetish: Anglo-Indian Lived Experiences in an Indian Railway Town / Anjali Gera Roy
    • Chapter Thirteen: Sometimes white, sometimes Asian: Boundary-making among transnational mixed descent youth at an international school in Indonesia / Danau Tanu
    • Chapter Fourteen: Class, Race and Being Indo (Eurasian) in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia / Ros Hewett
  • Afterword / Paul Spickard
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The Discourse of Konketsuji: Racialized Representations of Biracial Japanese Children in the 1950s

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Dissertations, History, Media Archive on 2017-07-11 00:23Z by Steven

The Discourse of Konketsuji: Racialized Representations of Biracial Japanese Children in the 1950s

University of Toronto
March 2017
79 pages

Zachery Anthony Nelson

A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, Department of East Asian Studies University of Toronto

This study examines textual representations of biracial Japanese children as featured in the print media of 1950s Japan. Attention is paid to the complex discursive process of racialization that produced knowledge of biracial Japanese under the label konketsuji or “mixed-blood child.” This “discourse of konketsuji” is deconstructed and analyzed towards the aim of illustrating how it functioned to disassociate the figure of the konketsuji from the category of “Japanese.” This study situates konketsuji and Japanese racial identity discourse into their proper historical contexts before transitioning to an analysis of primary source material. The discourse of konketsuji is revealed as having racialized konketsuji in a plural and complex manner. Racializing statements about konketsuji referenced difference in phenotype, social origin, political potential, birth circumstances, mentality, intellect, and cultural proclivities so as to position biracial children as a group outside a normative construction of Japanese raciality.

Read the entire thesis here.

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