Spotlight: Beneath Japan’s polite veneer lies secret codes of racial hatred aimed at minorities, foreigners

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive on 2016-05-22 21:22Z by Steven

Spotlight: Beneath Japan’s polite veneer lies secret codes of racial hatred aimed at minorities, foreigners (China Internet Information Center)
State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group (CIPG), Beijing, China

Xinhua News Agency

Is Japan a gentle nation? For many people who have little knowledge about the island country or just take a week-long vocation here, the answer would be a resounding “yes.”

But for the ethnic minorities and some foreigners who live here for a long time, their bitter tales would tell a totally different story behind the iconic Japanese smile — a real Japan with an underground social code of inherent racial discrimination.

Japan has a long history of discriminating “burakumin,”or hamlet people as they’re known here in English. This group, brandished an”underclass”of people comprise those perceived as having impure or tainted professions such as workers in abattoirs or those in the leather industry. They were seen as “untouchable” and also known as “eta,” an ancient name for burakumin, and were “worth” one seventh the regard of an ordinary person in the Feudal era, and in some cases regarded just slightly higher than animals.

However, such discrimination was not eliminated with the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese Enlightenment in the 19th century, and still impacts people with burakumin ancestry…

…”There was a lot of bullying when I was at school, particularly when I was an elementary school student. They used to throw garbage in my face but I had no idea why,” Ariana Miyamoto, the first Afro-Asian to be crowned Miss Universe Japan, told Xinhua.

“There was this one time when a whole class of kids refused to get in the swimming pool with me, because my skin was a different color,” remembered Miyamoto, who was born in Nagasaki Prefecture but was accused of not being Japanese.

A spiteful remark on one social media after Miyamoto’s won the hard-fought competition read that “they should do blood tests before such events and if a contestants’ DNA is less than 100 percent ‘Japanese’ they should not be allowed to participate.” Another claimed that being “hafu,” which represents “half” in English used by Japanese people referring to people of mixed-race, meant that the “other” half was “less than human.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States on 2016-05-16 01:40Z by Steven

Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity

Gallery Books (an Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
August 2016
368 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781451688467
eBook ISBN: 9781451688481

Sil Lai Abrams

The unique and beautifully written story of one multiracial woman’s journey of acceptance and identity that tackles the fraught topic of race in America.

Sil Lai Abrams always knew she was different, with darker skin and curlier hair than her siblings. But when the man who she thought was her dad told her the truth—that her father was actually black—her whole world was turned upside down.

Raised primarily in the Caucasian community of Winter Park, Florida, Abrams was forced to re-examine who she really was and struggle with her Caucasian, African American, and Chinese identities. In her remarkable memoir, she shares this journey and how it speaks to a larger question: Why does race matter?

Black Lotus is a story of acceptance and identity but it is also a dialogue on the complex topic of race in this country by an award-winning writer and inspirational speaker.

Tags: , ,

Playing Asian: A Review of AATP’s “Yellow Face”

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-12 00:37Z by Steven

Playing Asian: A Review of AATP’s “Yellow Face”

Standford Arts Review

Loralee Sepsey

“You don’t have to live as an Asian every day of your life.”

These words, spoken by the character David Henry Hwang (Newton Cheng) in Stanford’s Asian American Theater Project’s production of Hwang’s “unreliable memoir” Yellow Face, ring clear throughout the small, intimate space of the Elliott Program Center. Hwang has his back to the audience, head tilted upwards as he confronts the character of Marcus (Levi Jennings) over his self-proclaimed “choice” to be Asian– Siberian Jewish American, to be exact. Marcus stands upon a simple podium, lights beaming down on him like some sort of halo. In this moment, Marcus is playing savior, the beacon of whiteness coming to “save” the play’s Asian community, taking the qualities of color that benefit him while remaining free of the struggle that comes from racism. Everyone wants to be Asian, but no one actually wants to be Asian…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , ,

Why Is There No “Linsanity” Over LA Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-11 18:16Z by Steven

Why Is There No “Linsanity” Over LA Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson?

Psychology Today

E. J. R. David Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Lack of hype on NBA star may reflect larger issues in Asian American community

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May is also when the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs begin to heat up. The Golden State Warriors – the defending NBA Champions and perhaps the NBA team with the largest percentage of Asian Pacific American fans – continue to be the hottest team in the league. Therefore, a significant portion of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States as well as in the diaspora are likely focused on NBA basketball right now. And when it comes to putting Asian Pacific American people and NBA basketball together, many folks will most likely think of Jeremy Lin.

Remembering “Linsanity”

Jeremy Lin – a Taiwanese American basketball player – rose to stardom in 2012 while playing for the New York Knicks. He went from being an unknown, fringe NBA player to infusing hope on a struggling NBA team. After being inserted as the starting point guard for the Knicks as a last resort – the other point guards on the roster were all injured – Lin surprisingly led his team to a decent win-loss record…

…I am just curious why the same amount of attention is not given Jordan Clarkson

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-05-11 14:07Z by Steven

The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1522998952
6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

Dmae Roberts, Writer, Producer, Media and Theatre Artist

The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family traces four decades of what it means to be a mixed-race adult who sometimes called herself “Secret Asian Woman.” With her personal essays written over a ten-year period, Dmae Roberts journeys through biracial identity, Taiwan, sci-fi, and the trials of her interracial Taiwanese and Oklahoman family amid love, loss and letting go of past regrets and pain. Through journeys across America, Japan and Taiwan, this collection of personal stories charts four decades of racial identity. Each essay lends insights into the complexity of cross-cultural family relationships and includes photographs of the author’s family.


“Virtues do not all belong to the whites”: The Portrayals of Americanization and Miscegenation in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2016-05-02 23:23Z by Steven

“Virtues do not all belong to the whites”: The Portrayals of Americanization and Miscegenation in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

SEGue: Symposium for English Graduate Students
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
18 pages

Jennifer Bradley
Villanova University

The works of Sui Sin Far, who is widely recognized as the first Asian-American writer, revolve around questions of identity that capture the dissenting voices surrounding Asian-American immigration. A biracial woman of Chinese and English descent, Sui Sin Far writes from a variety of perspectives in order to paint a picture of race relations between Chinese and Americans during a time of intense Sinophobia in the United States. This paper will consider how several of the stories in her collection Mrs. Spring Fragrance showcase central dilemmas of immigration and assimilation. Critics have examined Sui Sin Far’s portrayal of assimilation, but not through the comparative lenses of Americanization and miscegenation. Americanization entails the sharing and appreciation of American values, customs, and culture while miscegenation is characterized by the mixing and interbreeding of different races. In Mrs. Spring Fragrance, white characters tend to view Americanization favorably but regard miscegenation with horror and disgust. Moreover, biracial children of both Chinese and white descent are regarded with confusion and even repulsion. Through miscegenation, white identity mixes with, rather than dominates, Chinese identity. In Mrs. Spring Fragrance, Americanization is often encouraged by whites because it entails an effacement of Chinese heritage, but miscegenation is discouraged because it instead implies an equality of this same Chinese heritage. This paper will turn to the stories of “Mrs. Spring Fragrance,” “The Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese,” and “Her Chinese Husband” to examine the contrasting portrayals of Americanization and miscegenation and their implications in forming American culture and society.

Read the entire paper here.

Tags: , , ,

Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia: Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-05-01 18:35Z by Steven

Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia: Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism

256 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781138847224

Uther Charlton-Stevens, Associate Professor
Institute of World Economy and Finance
Volgograd State University, Russia

Anglo-Indians are a mixed-race, Christian and Anglophone minority community which arose in India during the long period of European colonialism. An often neglected part of the British ‘Raj’, their presence complicates the traditional binary through which British imperialism in South Asia is viewed – of ruler and ruled, coloniser and colonised. This book looks at how Anglo-Indians illuminate the history of minority politics in the transition from British colonial rule in South Asia to independence.

The book analyses how the provisions in the Indian Constitution relating to Anglo-Indian cultural, linguistic and religious autonomy were implemented in the years following 1950. It discusses how effective the measures designed to protect Anglo-Indian employment by the state and Anglo-Indian educational institutions under the pressures of Indian national politics were. Presenting an in-depth account of this minority community in South Asia, this book will be of interest to those studying South Asian History, Colonial History and South Asian Politics.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. East Indians
  • 2. The ‘Eurasian Problem’
  • 3. Becoming Anglo-Indians
  • 4. Making a Minority
  • 5. Escapisms of Empire
  • 6. Constituting the Nation
  • 7. Conclusion
Tags: , , , ,

The Digital Afterlife of Lost Family Photos

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-01 17:18Z by Steven

The Digital Afterlife of Lost Family Photos

On Photography
The New York Times Magazine

Teju Cole

The backs of found photos from the writer’s “Mrs. X” collection. Credit Jens Mortensen for The New York Times

The photographs were Polaroids, taken between the 1970s and the 2000s. Zun Lee bought them at flea markets, at garage sales or on eBay. Most of them depicted African-Americans: people wearing stylish clothes, relaxing in the yard, celebrating birthdays. A few depicted people in prison uniforms. All the photographs had somehow been separated from their original owners and had become what Lee calls “orphaned Polaroids.”

Found photographs have long been important to artists like Lee. Photos taken by amateurs can sometimes acquire new value on account of their uniqueness, their age or simply the knowledge that they were once meaningful to a stranger. As part of a group, they can evoke a collector’s sensibility or tell us something about a historical period in a way professional photographs might not. For Lee, collecting found photographs of African-­Americans — a project he called “Fade Resistance” — had an additional and deeply personal meaning.

Lee was raised in Germany by Korean parents. In his 30s, his mother told him that the man who raised him was not his biological father. But because her relationship with that man, who was black, had been fleeting, she refused to tell her son more about him. This revelation, at once momentous and limited, changed Lee’s life. To make sense of his personal loss, and to explore his connectedness to black America, he took up photography. I became friends with Lee around the time he began making pictures of black fathers and their children in the Bronx and elsewhere; that project led to a book, “Father Figure,” for which I wrote a preface. Later, Lee began to collect the Polaroids — thousands of them — that ended up in “Fade Resistance.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Life and Work of Doctor-Turned-Photographer Zun Lee

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2016-05-01 01:08Z by Steven

The Life and Work of Doctor-Turned-Photographer Zun Lee


Michael Zhang, Founder & Co-Editor

By day, Zun Lee is a doctor in Toronto, Canada. When he’s not working, he’s often unwinding from stress with a camera in hand. As a self-taught photographer, his documentary and street projects have caught the eye of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Magnum, and more.

The 8-minute video above by Format’s InFrame is an inspiring look at Lee’s life and work.

Lee first got into photography in 2009 after a colleague gifted him with a camera…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Raising mixed race kids

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-05-01 00:13Z by Steven

Raising mixed race kids

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation
Melbourne, Australia

Ian Rose

The prospect of a family holiday has Ian Rose reflecting on the pleasures of bringing up mixed-race children, and the responsibility to keep them in touch with both cultures.

Let’s get this out there straight away. I am a pom. An unreconstructed, unapologetic, dyed-in-the-wool Englishman. I take tea in the morning, consider any code of football using a non-round ball to be knuckle-headed frippery, and I will automatically apologise if you stand on my foot.

Eight years and counting down-under has not made the slightest dent in my pomminess.

I was brought here by the love of an endlessly patient Vietnamese-Australian woman, a love that has borne hybrid fruit in the form of two children, now aged an exhausting five and six. They’re Aussie. But they’re English, too. And Vietnamese.

So this year, to connect them with that side of their heritage, we’ve decided to take a family holiday to Vietnam.

“Hey, kids,” I announce at the dinner table, partly to distract the boy from his greens.

“Guess where we’re going on holiday? To Vietnam! Yaaaaay!”

My daughter’s face falls into a gurn of displeasure.

“Awww,” she laments, “why can’t we go to England?”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,