Study: Interracial marriages involving Asian-Americans still can leave racial barriers

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-25 08:17Z by Steven

Study: Interracial marriages involving Asian-Americans still can leave racial barriers

University of Kansas News
Lawrence, Kansas

George Diepenbrock, Contact
KU News Service

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas researcher says the high rate of interracial marriages among Asian-Americans should not simply be interpreted as a litmus test of assimilation for the minority group.

Second-generation Asian-Americans who marry white Americans are not always able to transcend racial barriers without problems, and their biracial children face the same obstacles, said Kelly H. Chong, an associate professor of sociology who authored the study “Relevance of Race: Children and the Shifting Engagement with Racial/Ethnic Identity among Second-Generation Interracially Married Asian Americans,” published recently [June 2013] in The Journal of Asian American Studies.

“With the multicultural environment that has emerged in the last few decades that has made it easier and made it more fashionable to be different, we now celebrate diversity, so that makes a difference,” Chong said. “But even for Asian-Americans who believe in the general multicultural framework, they find that within their actual lives it’s very difficult for them to just blend in through intermarriage and sometimes even for their children who are biracial.”…

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CA+T Interview with Laura Kina

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-24 06:19Z by Steven

CA+T Interview with Laura Kina

Center for Art and Thought

Rachel Ishikawa, CA+T Interviewer

Laura Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Rachel Ishikawa: When did art begin for you?

Laura Kina: My mom. She had been a double major in art and sociology in undergrad and worked for a time as a technical illustrator for Boeing’s aerospace division. I was born in Riverside, CA, in 1973, and when I was just two years old she turned our enclosed sun porch into an art studio for me, gave me a big paintbrush, a pile of red paint and rolls of butcher paper to go crazy on. I was painting before I could really talk or write. Making art became my initial way of processing the world around me. In 1976 my little sister Alison was born with Down’s Syndrome, so we moved to a little Norwegian town in the Pacific Northwest called Poulsbo, WA to be near my mom’s parents but also so my dad could set up a private practice as a family practitioner and OGBYN [OBGYN] [obstetrician-gynecologist]. I learned how to sew from my great grandma, Ethel “Nanny” Smiley. She was a professional seamstress. I spent a lot of time playing in the woods, building forts, drawing, and using my imagination and also doing manual chores (yard work, gardening, canning) that one has to do living in the country. I think that really influenced my inclination toward making things with my hands. This was the late 1970s, and one of my house chores was to rake our ochre yellow shag carpet into this Zen like perfection. That was probably my first contemporary artwork!…

RI: Many of your pieces have a connection to your identity as a “hapa, yonsei, Uchinanchu.” At the same time they are historically rooted. How does the personal, political, and historical function within your work?

LK: Being multiracial (my mother is “white” –Spanish-Basque on her mother’s side and French, English, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch on her father’s side) has been a fundamental experience for me both in terms of how I’m perceived and treated but also in terms of how I understand myself and the world around me. I grew up in a predominantly White and Native American community, and there were not too many other Asians or other mixed kids around so I was hyper aware of being different. On one hand, being multiracial was celebrated as a sign of racial progress and being the “best of both worlds.” We were accepted, but then people would ask, “What are you?” or “Where are you really from?” or say things like “You look so exotic,” which would imply that maybe I didn’t belong. The fact of the matter is that I could be a member of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution. Our relatives were French mercenaries in the American Revolutionary War. I’m related to James Knox Polk, the eleventh president of the US, and to the Confederate Major General George Pickett, who lost the Battle of Gettysburg

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Why Mixed with White isn’t White

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-07-22 23:15Z by Steven

Why Mixed with White isn’t White

Hyphen: Asian America Unabrided

Sharon H. Chang

When I wrote my first post for Hyphen, “Talking Mixed-Race Identity with Young Children,” I was deliberately blunt about race. I wrote about how I don’t tell my multiracial son, who presents as a racial minority, that he’s white — but I do tell him he’s Asian. While the essay resonated with many people, others made comments like this:

“Your child is as white as he is Asian… Why embrace one label and not the other?”

“Why is he Asian but not white? He has white ancestors as much as Asian ones. So if it’s OK to call him Asian, it’s OK to call him white. Or, if it’s not OK to call him white (because he’s not completely white) then it’s not OK to call him Asian, because he’s not completely Asian either.”

“Your child is neither white nor Asian. I once heard this description: When you have a glass of milk and add chocolate to it, you no longer have just a glass of milk and you no longer just have chocolate because you have created something completely different. A bi-racial or multi-racial child is not either/or.”

In the 1990s, psychologist and mixed-race scholar Maria P.P. Root wrote the famous “Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage,” stirred by her examination of mixed-race identity, interviews with hundreds of multiracial folk across the U.S., and the struggles multiracial people face in forming and claiming a positive sense of self. “I have the right not to justify my existence to the world,” it reads. “To identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify. To create a vocabulary about being multiracial or multiethnic.”

Almost two decades later, these proclamations still ring so true. Some people are completely unwilling to honor my family’s choice to identify as mixed-race and Asian because it doesn’t align with their own ideas about how we should identify. The right of a mixed-race person to self-construct and self-define, even today, endures continual policing from people with their own agendas…

Read the entire article here.

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Ghosts of Camptown

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive on 2014-07-13 06:41Z by Steven

Ghosts of Camptown

MELUS: Multi-Ethnic LIterature of the United States
Volume 39, Issue 3 (Fall 2014)
pages 49-67
DOI: 10.1093/melus/mlu025

Grace Kyungwon Hong, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Asian American Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

This essay engages the deployment of form in Heinz Insu Fenkl’s Memories of My Ghost Brother (1996), focusing in particular on its strategy of embedding fantastical stories within its narrative structure and on the ways in which the mystical or magical tone of these stories pervades the narrative, establishing a frame seemingly incongruous with the memoir’s setting within a military camptown in South Korea. If a classically realist tone and linear narrative arc are the formal expressions of nationalist culture, the autobiographical novel’s departure from these formal strategies, I argue, is necessary to convey the complex juridical status of the camptown. Through a curious excess of state sovereignty, because they are simultaneously under both US and South Korean sovereignty, the camptown and its residents are subject to abandonment by both nation-states, producing a heightened vulnerability to death. Accordingly, such complex relationships to sovereignty demand a narrative form organized around a complex and divided subject unlike the possessive individual at the center of traditional autobiographies, a divided subject formed around an ethics in which no one is blameless and everyone is complicit.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Stunning Portraits of Mixed-Race Families

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2014-06-29 17:10Z by Steven

Stunning Portraits of Mixed-Race Families


David Rosenberg, Editor of Slate’s Behold blog

Fascinated by the evolution of identity, the photographer Cyjo, who styles her name CYJO, has created a series of portraits that examines how race, ethnicity, and heritage contextualize a person as an individual, and how they coexist within the framework of a family.

Cyjo identifies herself as a Westerner of Korean ethnicity (she was born in South Korea and raised in the United States) and photographed the series “Mixed Blood” from 2010–13 in both New York and Beijing. She has explored the dynamic between individual and collective identities in her previous work via a more abstract approach, but, with “Mixed Blood,” she uses the more literal approach of portraiture.

Over time, as humans migrate and change environments, the definition of identity has evolved to adjust to a broader definition of race and ethnicity. Cyjo pointed out that, in 2000, the United States Census for the first time allowed people to choose more than one identifier when noting their race. Almost 7 million people chose to count themselves as mixed race, a number that has continued to grow over the past decade and a half…

Read the article and view the photo essay here.

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Say Hapa, With Care

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2014-06-19 17:34Z by Steven

Say Hapa, With Care

AAPI Voices: Amplifying the voices of Asian Pacific America.

Sharon Chang, Guest Columnist

What does Hapa mean?  One way to know is to look at the ways in which the word is used.

It’s a “Hawaiian word for ‘mixed-race’,” says Hapa Kitchen Supper Club, “coined to refer to people of East Asian and Caucasian backgrounds.” Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar calls it “a harmonious blend of Asian and American.” It’s a “slang term,” proclaims The Natural Hapa: Bamboo Bundles and Hapa Time: Style Inspiration chirps it’s “just one of the coolest words ever.” There’s Hapa Yoga, Hapa Ramen, Hapa Grill, Hapa Cupcakes, Hinode sells a “Hapa Blend” of brown and white rices and Hapa Culture sells…erasers?

Let’s talk about this word, Hapa…

Read the entire article here.

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Seoul International Seminar on Racism/Mixed Race in Korea and Japan

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-18 20:36Z by Steven

Seoul International Seminar on Racism/Mixed Race in Korea and Japan

Yonsei University, South Korea
2014-06-21 through 2014-06-22
Co-organized & Sponsored by Department of Cultural Anthropology & Institute of Korean Studies, Yonsei University

…1:30-3:30 pm Mixed race/blood in modern Japan

(Chair: Lee Sang Kook, Yonsei University)

  1. A.K.M. Skarpelis (NYU Sociology and Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo) , “Eugenic Ironies: Assimilating Colonial Korea into the Japanese Empire”
  2. Johanna O. Zulueta (Soka University), “Multiculturalism and Mixed Race in Okinawa: Politics of Inclusion/Exclusion in the Post-Cold War Years”
  3. Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University Japan Campus) & Yuki Imoto (Keio University), “From Konketsu to Hafu: The politics of mixed-race categories in modern Japan”

Discussant: Han Geon Soo (Kangwon National University), Park Kyung Min (Michigan State University)

Coffee Break

4:00-6:00pm Cultural politics of mixed race celebrities in East Asia

Chair: Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University)

  1. Ji-Hyun Ahn (University of Washington Tacoma), “Questioning the cultural currency of whiteness: White mixed-race celebrities and (contemporary) Korean popular culture”
  2. Jeehyun Lim (Denison University), “Black and Korean in Neoliberal Multiculturalism in South Korea”
  3. Kaori Mori-Want (Shibaura Institute of Technology), “Japan We are Haafu, So What?: A Different Perspective in Mixed Race Studies in the Voices of Japanese Haafu Comedians”

Discussant: Jung Hyesil (Hanyang University), Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University Japan Campus)

6:00- 8:00 pm Reception…

For more information click here.

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When Dad Wiped Away My Tears: Accepting a Child’s Vulnerability

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-06-18 08:28Z by Steven

When Dad Wiped Away My Tears: Accepting a Child’s Vulnerability

Psychology Today

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu Ed.D.
Stanford University

I thought summer camp would be endless fun. My two best friends were going and I wanted to go with them so badly I asked my dad to lie about my age so I could get in. I was seven and you were supposed to be eight. Dad liked my spunk, so he changed my birthday on the application and I got to go to the two-week overnight camp. On Father’s Day I always remember this story with gratitude and want to share it with you.

Camp Russell wasn’t quite what I had dreamed about. It wasn’t a rich kids’ camp, but the Boy’s Club camp and was full of tough kids from all over the city. I was scared and tried not to be noticed, but as the only Asian kid there I stood out everywhere I went. Kids would whisper to each other when I walked by or shout from a distance, “Hey Jap” or “Ching, Chong, Chinaman!” and everyone would laugh or pretend to speak Chinese. I didn’t know what to do. There were too many and they were too big to fight. So I pretended not to hear anything and no one approached me or threatened me. I was big for my age and I heard them joking that I knew karate…

Read the entire article here.

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Japanese Brazilians celebrate mixed heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2014-06-18 07:43Z by Steven

Japanese Brazilians celebrate mixed heritage

Al Jazeera

Jillian Kestler-D’Amour, Online Producer

Sao Paulo, Brazil – The room was a mixture of Brazilian green and yellow and Japanese red and white, as more than 200 members of the city’s large Japanese community turned out to watch the country of their ancestors take on Cote d’Ivoire in both teams’ World Cup opening match.

Chants of Japao! (Japan in Portuguese) rang out through the crowd, which was dominated by navy jerseys with the names Honda, Toshio, Takaya, Shiota, and Kagawa affixed to the back. The room erupted when Japanese star Keisuke Honda put the Samurai Blue ahead in the first half, but fans were ultimately stunned when Cote d’Ivoire scored twice in two minutes to win, 2-1.

“I feel very proud that Japan is in the World Cup and that we can host them here in Brazil,” said Analia Kita, before the game began. Wife of Kihatino Kita, the director of the Japanese-Brazilian Association that hosted the screening, Analia said she has tickets to cheer on Japan when the team takes on Switzerland next week in Natal.

“Between Japan and Brazil, it’s going to be very hard to choose [my favourite],” she said laughing. “But it’s going to have to be Brazil. I’m Brazilian.”…

…Dual identities

“We can characterise it as a mixture. We have 106 years of immigration and in this time, we have seen the mixture and integration of the Japanese culture in Brazil,” explained Celia Sakurai, a researcher on Japanese-Brazilian community and culture.

Born in Sao Paulo where she lives today, Sakurai told Al Jazeera that Japanese influence on Brazil’s culture can be viewed through the popularity of anime, Manga comics, and haikai (the Portuguese-language version of a haiku), the practise of judo and taeko (traditional Japanese drumming), and other arts…

Read the entire article here.

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LeiLani Nishime explores the Asian American experience in her new book

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-16 02:48Z by Steven

LeiLani Nishime explores the Asian American experience in her new book

The Seattle Globalist

Diane Han
University of Washington

We understand that race doesn’t exist biologically, but it doesn’t mean that race isn’t real.

“We think we see race because it exists in the world, but really, we learn to see race,” says LeiLani Nishime, author of the recently published “Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture.”

“I think the approach to race is not to ignore it or pretend it is not there, but to confront it, see that it’s there, and understand what it does for us in a social context.”

Nishime’s book is a critical examination of the ways multiracial Asian Americans are represented in mass media…

Read the entire article here.

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