Is Naomi Osaka Japanese enough for Japan?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-02 03:19Z by Steven

Is Naomi Osaka Japanese enough for Japan?

Nikkei View: Perspectives on Asian-American culture through the lens of identity, history, and experience
2019-02-01

Gil Asakawa

Naomi Osaka photo by Peter Menzel
Naomi Osaka at the 2018 Nottingham Open qualifiers, photo by Peter Menzel, Creative Commons/flickr

I love following the exciting young career of Naomi Osaka, the world’s first Japanese tennis star who has been ranked number-one by the Women’s Tennis Association, after her recent win in the Australian Open.

I love her passion and skill and determination to win. And most of all, I love that she is mixed-race, with a Japanese mom and Haitian dad. And, that she’s culturally as American as she is Japanese or Haitian.

She was born in Japan, and her family came to the U.S. when she was just three years old. They first lived with her father’s family in Long Island, New York, and by the time she was 10, the family (which includes an older sister who also competes in tennis) moved to Florida, where they still live.

Osaka claims both American and Japanese citizenship. She’s 21 now, and the media have begun pointing out Japan’s citizenship law: At 22, Japan doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Naomi will soon have to choose her nationality…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Naomi Osaka And The Expectations Put Upon Biracial Japanese

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2019-01-31 18:26Z by Steven

Naomi Osaka And The Expectations Put Upon Biracial Japanese

Kotaku East
Kotaku
2019-01-31

Brian Ashcraft
Osaka, Japanese


Screenshot: ANNnewsCH

Earlier this week, Naomi Osaka fielded a question from a Japanese reporter who wanted the tennis star to reply in Japanese. “I’m going to say it in English,” Osaka replied.

The reporter said kongurachureeshon (congratulations) instead of omedetou gozaimasu, Japanese for “congratulations,” before going into a question about the difficulty of playing the left-handed player Petra Kvitová. “First,” the reporter continued, “in Japanese, could you say something about how hard it was?”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Doesn’t Like Attention. She’s About to Get a Ton of It.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2019-01-28 01:57Z by Steven

Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Doesn’t Like Attention. She’s About to Get a Ton of It.

TIME
2019-01-10

Sean Gregory, Senior Writer

On a wet December morning in a South Florida weight room, the 21-year-old who stunned Serena Williams at the U.S. Open is hard at work preparing to show that the biggest moment of her life was more than a fluke. As an arrow flashes on an iPad in front of her, Naomi Osaka darts in the direction it signals, pauses, then pivots when it sends her the other way, without missing a step. Her coach, Sascha Bajin, joins the drill but leaps the wrong way and almost lands on Osaka’s ankle. Bajin feigns horror, prompting fellow pro tour player Monica Puig to suggest Osaka give her coach a hug. “She gives hugs like no other,” Bajin says, his sarcasm thicker than midsummer heat. “I only hug people I like,” Osaka parries…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Backlash Over Ad Depicting Naomi Osaka With Light Skin Prompts Apology

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2019-01-22 16:36Z by Steven

Backlash Over Ad Depicting Naomi Osaka With Light Skin Prompts Apology

The New York Times
2019-01-22

Daniel Victor


At left, a cartoon version of Naomi Osaka in an ad for Nissin, a Japanese instant-noodle brand; at right, the real Ms. Osaka at the Australian Open this month.
Nissin; Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Naomi Osaka, the half-Haitian, half-Japanese tennis champion, is the star of a new Japanese anime-style advertisement.

The problem? The cartoon Ms. Osaka bears little resemblance to her real, biracial self.

Her skin was unmistakably lightened, and her hair style changed — a depiction that has prompted criticism in Japan, where she has challenged a longstanding sense of cultural and racial homogeneity.

The ad — unveiled this month by Nissin, one of the world’s largest instant-noodle brands — features Ms. Osaka and Kei Nishikori, Japan’s top-ranked male tennis player, in a cartoon drawn by Takeshi Konomi, a well-known manga artist whose series “The Prince of Tennis” is popular in Japan…

Mr. Konomi and Ms. Osaka, who faces Elina Svitolina in an Australian Open quarterfinal match on Wednesday, have not publicly commented on the backlash to the ad…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , ,

Another Win for a Player Getting in Touch With Her Japanese Roots

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2016-01-23 03:22Z by Steven

Another Win for a Player Getting in Touch With Her Japanese Roots

The New York Times
2016-01-21

Ben Rothenberg


Naomi Osaka signed autographs after her 6-4, 6-4 victory over 18th-seeded Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open on Thursday.
Credit Issei Kato/Reuters

MELBOURNE, AustraliaNaomi Osaka (大坂 なおみ) liked to think she had a universal appeal to the crowd that watched her 6-4, 6-4 win over 18th-seeded Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open on Thursday afternoon.

“Maybe it’s because they can’t really pinpoint what I am,” said Osaka, who will play the two-time champion Victoria Azarenka in the third round. “So it’s like anybody can cheer for me.”

Osaka, 18, is coached in the United States by her Haitian-born father, Leonard Francois. She spends little time in her mother’s homeland of Japan, the country she represents in tennis, but received strong support from Japanese fans as she pulled off the upset on Show Court 2.

“I always think that they’re surprised that I’m Japanese,” she said. “So like the fact that there was like Japanese flags and stuff, it was like really touching.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,