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.

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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?”…

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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…

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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…

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Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Justice on 2018-11-27 02:33Z by Steven

Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together

Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2017-06-27
256 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062354525
Paperback ISBN: 9780062354532
EPUB ISBN: 9780062354549

James Blake, with Carol Taylor

Inspired by Arthur Ashe’s bestselling memoir Days of Grace, a collection of positive, uplifting stories of seemingly small acts of grace from across the sports world that have helped to bridge cultural and racial divides.

Like many people of color, James Blake has experienced the effects of racism firsthand—publicly—first at the U.S. Open, and then in front of his hotel on a busy Manhattan street, where he was tackled and handcuffed by a police officer in a case of “mistaken identity.” Though rage would have been justified, Blake faced both incidents with dignity and aplomb.

In Ways of Grace he reflects on his experiences and explores those of other sports stars and public figures who have not only overcome adversity, but have used them to unite rather than divide, including:

  • Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, a Pakistani Muslim and Amir Hadad, an Israeli Jew, who despite the conflicts of their countries, paired together in the 2002 Wimbledon men’s doubles draw.
  • Muhammad Ali, who transcended racism with a magnetic personality and a breathtaking mastery of boxing that was unparalleled.
  • Nelson Mandela, who spent twenty-seven years in prison for his commitment to social reform, peace, and equality yet never gave up his battle to end apartheid—a struggle that led to his eventual freedom and his nation’s transition to black majority rule.
  • Groundbreaking tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who was a model of courage, elegance, and poise on the court and off; a gifted player who triumphed in the all-white world of professional tennis, and became one of his generation’s greatest players.

Weaving together these and other poignant and unforgettable stories, Blake reveals how, through seemingly small acts of grace, we can confront hatred, bigotry, and injustice with virtue—and use it to propel ourselves to greater heights.

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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.”…

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James Blake doesn’t want NYPD cop who tackled him to ‘ever have a badge and gun again’

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-13 23:38Z by Steven

James Blake doesn’t want NYPD cop who tackled him to ‘ever have a badge and gun again’

The New York Daily News
2015-09-12

Wayne Coffey, Special Reporter

Rich Schapiro, Staff Writer

Retired tennis star James Blake said Saturday the NYPD cop who brutally wrestled him to the ground should be served his walking papers.

“I want him to know what he did was wrong, and that in my opinion he doesn’t deserve to ever have a badge and a gun again, because he doesn’t know how to handle that responsibility effectively,” Blake, 35, told the Daily News. “He doesn’t deserve to have the same title as officers who are doing good work and are really helping keep the rest of the city safe.”

Blake called on the NYPD to can Officer James Frascatore a day after the department released disturbing video showing the WWE-style takedown outside a Midtown hotel Wednesday…

…Blake initially said he believed race was a factor in the rough arrest. But asked Saturday whether he thought white tennis stars such as Andy Roddick or Mardy Fish would have been treated the same way, he demurred.

“I don’t want to say that at all because I think that muddies the issue at hand,” said Blake, who was born to a black father and a white mother. “In this incident it was the excessive force that’s really the issue, because it was a nonviolent crime.”…

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James Blake and the Myth of an Unarrestable Black Man

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-13 02:40Z by Steven

James Blake and the Myth of an Unarrestable Black Man

The Daily Beast
2015-09-10

Tomás Ríos

Bill Bratton said race ‘had nothing at all to do’ with tennis star James Blake’s wrongful collaring and arrest. The numbers tell a different story.

What does a non-white person have to do for the police to leave them alone? The ready answer is that you have to be more famous than former tennis star James Blake.

Blake was leaving his Midtown Manhattan hotel to make corporate appearances at the U.S. Open when five white, plainclothes New York City police officers tackled and handcuffed him on Wednesday.

The real answer, of course, is that not being white means there is no escape from the consequences of not being white.

Among those who buy into the mythic moral righteousness of our police forces, there is a belief that people of color need only be perfect little humans to cancel out the realities of a racist society. Go to college, smile, pull up your pants, don’t smile at white women, and the prescription for transcending race goes on and on.

It seems not even James Blake—who attended Harvard, overcame scoliosis and a broken neck to become a world-class tennis player, and is now a cancer research philanthropist—can be that perfect. The numbers on incarceration make that much clear…

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Serena Williams, Tiger Woods and racial identity in sports

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-11 20:55Z by Steven

Serena Williams, Tiger Woods and racial identity in sports

ESPN
2015-09-05

Mike Wise, Senior Writer

Mike Wise writes that Serena Williams has embraced her blackness and found a spiritual home while Tiger Woods has been proudly biracial and found a perhaps unintended kind of isolation

You can’t miss the term “black excellence” pulsating through Claudia Rankine’s provocative story on Serena Williams in last week’s New York Times magazine. Though Serena never goes there herself, the acclaimed poet and professor takes the journey for her, living vicariously through Serena’s sass and brass. “Serena’s grace comes because she won’t be forced into stillness; she won’t accept those racist projections onto her body without speaking back.”

Rankine’s affection for Serena’s defiance is so deeply personal, she almost channels John Carlos and Tommie Smith, raising their black-gloved fists into a Mexico City summer night some five decades ago.

Step off, backward white folk.

Between black excellence and her picture next to the Twitter hashtag #BlackGirlMagic, Serena is clearly playing for more than herself and history at the US Open this week.

Meanwhile, a term not found with a Google search: “Cablanasian excellence.”

This is possibly because Tiger Woods has not won a major since the Bush administration, and he has been careful not to singularly co-opt any one part of his multiracial identity (African-American, Thai, Caucasian, American Indian, Chinese and beyond).

But now that we’re routinely taking stock of two seminal athletes of color, both of whom dominated their Downton Abbey-white sports at different times in their careers, it’s fair to delve into how they both handled race and ask a simple question:

Is the importance of a strong racial identity — especially being viewed as authentically black — something to fall back on during career and life struggles?…

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The twisted irony of the NYPD wrongly assaulting and detaining black tennis star James Blake

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-11 02:02Z by Steven

The twisted irony of the NYPD wrongly assaulting and detaining black tennis star James Blake

The Daily Kos
2015-09-10

Shawn King

Yeah. This really happened.

Retired black tennis star James Blake, in an NYPD double-fault, was slammed to a Manhattan sidewalk and handcuffed by a white cop in a brutal case of mistaken identity.

The 35-year-old Blake, once ranked No. 4 in the world, suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg as five plainclothes cops eventually held him for 15 minutes Wednesday outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

“It was definitely scary and definitely crazy,” Blake told the Daily News. “In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”

Of course, Blake is right. This absolutely should not have happened, but that much is a obvious to all of us. There are questions we should be asking, though…

Read the entire article here.

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