[Interview] If only parents gave DNA samples when they put children up for adoption

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2017-04-09 21:41Z by Steven

[Interview] If only parents gave DNA samples when they put children up for adoption

The Hankyoreh
2017-04-04

Kang Sung-man, Senior Staff writer


Bella Siegel-Dalton is a mixed-race adoptee who returned to South Korea after 51 years to look for her biological mother’s family. The big Korean letters on her shirt say, “Back in South Korea, my mother’s country.” (by Kang Sung-man, senior staff writer)

More Korean adoptees are organizing to search for their birth parents through DNA testing

Bella Siegel-Dalton is back in South Korea for the first time since being adopted by a family in the Napa Valley of northern California in 1966. When Bella Siegel-Dalton, 56, met a Hankyoreh reporter in a coffee shop on the first floor of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Apr. 1, her face was pallid. Because of kidney trouble, she needs to receive a transplant within two years. She’s also receiving chemotherapy after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Seven years ago, Siegel-Dalton identified her biological father in the US through DNA testing, but he had already passed away. During this trip to South Korea she says she wants to find her biological mother. “My 17-day trip to South Korea is challenging, so I’m gritting my teeth and hanging on. But it’s not painful, because this visit is so important to me,” she said.

Siegel-Dalton is a mixed-race adoptee who was born in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province, in 1961, to a South Korean woman and an American soldier. Her birth name was Lee Ji-sun. “My adoptive parents were really good people. My mother was an English teacher with a Master’s degree, while my father was a researcher for Shell Oil. They would sometimes let me try kimchi and listen to ‘Arirang’ so that I wouldn’t forget my memories of Korea,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Japan Reborn: Mixed-Race Children, Eugenic Nationalism, and the Politics of Sex after World War II

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-06 01:29Z by Steven

Japan Reborn: Mixed-Race Children, Eugenic Nationalism, and the Politics of Sex after World War II

Columbia University
2015
DOI: 10.7916/D83F4NS4

Kristin A. Roebuck, ‎Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in History
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

In April 1952, Japan emerged from Allied occupation free, peaceful, and democratic.

Japan’s presses marked the occasion by declaring a state of crisis: the “konketsuji [mixed-blood children] crisis.” By all accounts, Allied soldiers had sired and abandoned two hundred thousand “mixed-blood” orphans in Japan. However, Chapter One reveals this to be a fabricated crisis or “moral panic.” Surveys found only a few thousand konketsuji nationwide, very few of them orphans. Yet these discoveries did little to change the tenor of “crisis.” Opposition politicians deployed wrath and fear over “blood mixing” to discredit the dominant Liberal Party and its alliance with the United States. They were abetted by an array of postwar activists who used the “crisis” to reconstruct Japanese nationalism, laid low by defeat and occupation, on a new basis: the “pure” race rather than the failed state.

Chapter Two explores how the panic over “blood mixing” inevitably embroiled not just children but women as well. Japanese women were subject to intense pressures to eschew sex and family formation with Western men, and to abort “mixed” fetuses on eugenic grounds rather than bear them to term. 1948 marked the beginning of the end of criminal prosecution of abortion in Japan. The law that inaugurated this shift, the Eugenic Protection Law (EPL), is generally viewed as an advancement in women’s rights, despite the fact that the EPL envisioned and promoted the use of abortion as a means of managing the “quality and quantity” of Japan’s population.

Scholarship on the links between eugenics and the decriminalization of abortion in Japan is vast, but scholars have yet to probe deeply into how eugenic abortion was applied to control—or forestall—“race mixing” after the war. Although it was politically impossible for the government to impose abortions outright on women who might be pregnant with the children of Japan’s conquerors, such women were nonetheless targeted for eugenic intervention. For these women, abortion was not an option granted in a liberal democracy concerned with women’s rights. Abortion was an imperative imposed by a diverse array of governmental and non-governmental actors united behind an ideology of “pure blood.”

Chapter Three explains how postwar scientific presses framed konketsuji born in the wake of World War II as an unprecedented presence. Geneticists, physical anthropologists, clinicians, and other researchers from the late 1940s through the 1970s deployed a “system of silences” to erase Japan’s prewar konketsuji community from view. They thereby not only constructed the Japanese as a racial community bounded by “pure blood,” but denied that the racialized nation ever had or ever could assimilate foreign elements. Scientific spokesmen effected the discursive purification of Japan despite resistance from “mixed-blood” adults who organized to contest the rising tide of racial nationalism. In the process, these scientists severely undercut the “mixed” community’s advocacy of a civically rather than biologically constituted nation.

Chapter Four contrasts the decline of race science and eugenics in the West with their efflorescence in postwar Japan, where conditions of occupation heightened the relevance of racial eugenics as a prescription for national unity and strength. It is well known that Anglophone genetics and physical anthropology were led at the mid-century by immigrants and minorities, prominently including Theodosius Dobzhansky and Ashley Montagu. Yet without comparative analysis, it is difficult to weigh the significance of this fact, or of the fact that minorities did not lead the Japanese sciences. Japanese geneticists and anthropologists who identified as having “pure Japanese blood” never questioned that biopolitical category or the costs it imposed on those it excluded.

I argue that who practiced science counts for much more than is allowed by objectivist narratives of self-correcting scientific “progress.” My project explains for the first time why racial nationalism and an ethos of ethnic cleansing triumphed in Japan at the very moment these forces receded in other contexts.

Embargoed until 2017-06-30.

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Mixed race child zigzags through Shanghai world

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive on 2017-04-03 02:37Z by Steven

Mixed race child zigzags through Shanghai world

Otago Daily Times
2017-04-03

Jessie Neilson, Library Assistant
University of Otago

DRAGON SPRINGS ROAD
Janie Chang
William Morrow
(Harper Collins Publishers)

Janie Chang’s second novel, Dragon Springs Road, details a landscape of memories, where traditional spiritual beliefs coexist with more modern ways of living.

Author Janie Chang, a Taiwanese Canadian, draws on her own family heritage and ancestors’ beliefs in her second novel.

It is 1908, the Year of the Monkey, Dragon Springs Road, Shanghai. In a traditional, affluent Chinese housing complex, a young girl is abandoned by her mother, with little explanation.

The 7-year-old, Jialing, is Eurasian, or za zhong, as strangers insult her, and as such is treated with contempt by most of society. She has little chance of education or opportunity beyond prostitution, but fortunes look up when she is taken under the wing of the new family in residence…

Read the entire review here.

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Dragon Springs Road: A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2017-04-02 21:21Z by Steven

Dragon Springs Road: A Novel

William Morrow Paperbacks
2017-01-10
400 pages
5.313 in (w) x 8 in (h) x 0.901 in (d)
Paperback ISBN: 9780062388957

Janie Chang

From the author of Three Souls comes a vividly imagined and haunting new novel set in early 20th century Shanghai—a story of friendship, heartbreak, and history that follows a young Eurasian orphan’s search for her long-lost mother.

That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return . . .

In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.

Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.

Always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But she finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.

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The forgotten history of Chinese immigrants in this Mexican border town

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2017-04-02 15:27Z by Steven

The forgotten history of Chinese immigrants in this Mexican border town

Fusion
2016-10-13

Nidhi Prakash


Erendira Mancias/FUSION

MEXICALI, MexicoMexicali has all the obvious signs of being a border town: roads pointing the way to the United States, car after car lined up at crossing points from early morning through the blistering hot day and well into the night—currency exchange places dog-earing every corner.

But there’s something about this place that sets it apart in the borderlands. You might notice it first in the Chinese restaurants dotting the streets, in the elaborate pagoda that sits at the border with Calexico, or in the doorways downtown with subtle, sometimes faded, Chinese lettering.

This dusty northern Mexican city of around 690,000 was largely developed by an often-overlooked community of Chinese immigrants, whose roots here trace back to the late 1800s. Tens of thousands of immigrants, mostly from Canton (now Guangzhou), arrived to the area between the mid–1800s and the 1940s, crossing by ship from southern China, often first to San Francisco, sometimes to other Mexican cities like Ensenada and Guadalajara, before choosing Mexicali. Many stayed for generations after and helped build this city into what’s become.

The Chinese-Mexican community here remains very much a part of Mexicali—especially downtown, a historic center of the city’s rich history. There’s a stretch of several blocks called La Chinesca which, after decades of semi-abandonment and disrepair, is seeing the beginnings of a revival as newer generations reconnect, and for some, discover for the first time, their lasting impact on Mexicali culture…

…Junior Chen, 36, is a quiet, business-like man at first, who talks animatedly when we get to the subject of his plans for downtown Mexicali, where he was born and raised. He said he’s been working on projects to try to reactivate the city center since he was 16 years old. But starting a historical tour of La Chinesca, and thinking more about his Chinese heritage (his great-grandfather came to Mexico from Canton some time in the mid–1800s) has been more recent for him.

“I have some Chinese roots, I’m mestizaje [mixed]. I’m always sincere with people who know me. To be honest I never had an interest in Chinese culture before. I never wanted to get involved in the Chinese Association. But my mother always wanted to be connected to the community, to have Chinese friends,” he told me. “But what I’m trying to say is that for me I started to get involved with all this and it changed me.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Piya on race, identity and ticking boxes

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-04-01 01:27Z by Steven

Piya on race, identity and ticking boxes

Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay
CBC Radio
2017-03-27

Piya Chattopadhyay, Host


Piya and her daughter

A month after Rachel Dolezal was propelled into the public spotlight in 2015, the American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me came out.

It’s essentially a letter to his son about the bleak realities of being black in America today.

And like one of those memories that seem so present, so real you can almost touch them, I clearly recall my white husband coming home, after he finished reading Ta-Nehisi’s book.

He was standing on our back porch, and he asked me how I — a woman of Indian heritage, a woman who is undeniably brown — felt about our biological kids, who are biracial, but look outwardly white…

Read the story here. Listen to the story (00:03:42) here.

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CALL FOR PAPERS | Mixed Race in Asia and Australasia: Migrations, Mobilities and Belonging

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-03-31 01:28Z by Steven

CALL FOR PAPERS | Mixed Race in Asia and Australasia: Migrations, Mobilities and Belonging

Asia Research Institute
Seminar Room
AS8 Level 4, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
National University of Singapore @ KRC
2017-10-12 through 2017-10-13

2017-02-01

CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE: 1 APRIL 2017

The topic of mixed race, often overlooked by researchers because of its connection with discredited notions of ‘race’, has recently come into its own as a result of recognition of the unique and diverse experiences of those who challenge monolithic racial categories. Interest in DNA testing to determine the global scale of one’s ancestry is becoming increasingly popular, demonstrating the ubiquity of mixedness. A number of publications from the USA and the UK and growing interest internationally (King-O’Riain et al, 2014; Edwards et al, 2012), as well as an increasing social network presence (www.mix-d.org; www.intermix.org.uk; mixedrootsstories.com; www.mixedsingle.com; www.mixedracestudies.org) and media representation, signal the importance of this growing phenomenon. This workshop seeks to extend knowledge about mixedness in the Australasian and Asian region through a range of collaborative endeavours.

People of mixed race are often seen as either ‘marginal’ (in terms of culture, psychology and community) or as the vanguard of an integrated, post-racial, cosmopolitan world (Edwards et al. 2012). Such dichotomies ignore the complex lived reality of being mixed (‘passing’, having ‘multiracial’ identities, feeling one race while looking like another etc.). The lived experience of being ‘mixed’ is strongly influenced by political and social context, and thus cross-national and cross- cultural comparison is vital.

In many countries in Asia, racial, ethnic and cultural mixing has a long history, and narratives around mixed race have developed in vastly different ways. From established identities such as Anglo-Indians in India, Eurasians in Singapore and Peranakans in Southeast Asia, to newer identities such as Hafus in Japan, and indeed those without named identifiers, individuals of mixed heritage have diverse experiences. These experiences have been shaped by a range of historical circumstances (colonial versus more peaceful intercultural engagements), political contexts (monarchies, democracies, authoritarian dynasties), and by the type of mixedness (e.g. European, Chinese, Indian, Japanese; indigenous), as well as different levels of political, cultural and social acceptance. ‘Racial purity’ is seen as desirable in some Asian countries, particularly those with less colonial baggage, often leading to the marginalisation of those of mixed backgrounds.

For the workshop, key themes of interest include:

  • How collective and individual narratives of ‘old’ hybrid identities are changing in relation to hierarchies of belonging between and within racial identities and new migration flows.
  • How mixed race identities are negotiated, adapted, or lived at interrelated spatial scales such as family/home, ethnic community, national, and virtual space.
  • How meanings of mixed-descent identities change (e.g. are abandoned, reworked or replenished) across generations.
  • How culture and race are negotiated in the development of mixed race identities.
  • How policy and classificatory structures impact the formation of mixed race communities.

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

Submissions should include a title, an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief biography including name, institutional affiliation, and email contact. Please note that only previously unpublished papers or those not already committed elsewhere can be accepted. By participating in the workshop, you agree to participate in the future publication plans (special issue/journal) of the organizers. The organizers will provide hotel accommodation for three nights and a contribution towards airfare for accepted paper participants (one author per paper).

Please submit your proposal, using the provided proposal template to Ms Tay Minghua at minghua.tay@nus.edu.sg by 1 April 2017. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the end of May.

WORKSHOP CONVENERS

Professor Brenda S.A. Yeoh
Asia Research Institute, and Department of Geography, National University of Singapore
E-mail: geoysa@nus.edu.sg

Ms Kristel Acedera
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
E-mail: arikafa@nus.edu.sg

Contact Person(s)
Tay Minghua

For more information, click here.

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China has an irrational fear of a “black invasion” bringing drugs, crime, and interracial marriage

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive on 2017-03-31 01:15Z by Steven

China has an irrational fear of a “black invasion” bringing drugs, crime, and interracial marriage

Quartz
2017-03-30

Joanna Chiu


Feeling it in Guangzhou. (Reuters/James Pomfret)

Beijing—Earlier this month in Beijing, amid the pomp of China’s annual rubber-stamp parliament meetings, a politician proudly shared with reporters his proposal on how to “solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong.” The latter province is widely known in China to have many African migrants.

“Africans bring many security risks,” Pan Qinglin told local media (link in Chinese). As a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body, he urged the government to “strictly control the African people living in Guangdong and other places.”

Pan, who lives in Tianjin near Beijing—and nowhere near Guangdong—held his proposal aloft for reporters to see. It read in part (links in Chinese):

“Black brothers often travel in droves; they are out at night out on the streets, nightclubs, and remote areas. They engage in drug trafficking, harassment of women, and fighting, which seriously disturbs law and order in Guangzhou… Africans have a high rate of AIDS and the Ebola virus that can be transmitted via body fluids… If their population [keeps growing], China will change from a nation-state to an immigration country, from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country.”

On social media, the Chinese response has been overwhelmingly supportive, with many commenters echoing Pan’s fears. In a forum dedicated to discussions about black people in Guangdong on Baidu Tieba—an online community focused on internet search results—many participants agreed that China was facing a “black invasion.” One commenter called on Chinese people (link in Chinese) not to let “thousands of years of Chinese blood become polluted.”

The stream of racist vitriol online makes the infamous Chinese TV ad for Qiaobi laundry detergent, which went viral last year, seem mild in comparison. The ad featured a Asian woman stuffing a black man into a washing machine to turn him into a pale-skinned Asian man…

…Paolo Cesar, an African-Brazilian who has worked as a musician in Shanghai for 18 years and has a Chinese wife, said music has been a great way for him to connect with audiences and make local friends. However, his mixed-race son often comes home unhappy because of bullying at school. Despite speaking fluent Mandarin, his classmates do not accept him as Chinese. They like to shout out, “He’s so dark!”…

Read the entire article here.

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Looking at Okinawa: Race, Gender, Nation

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, United States on 2017-03-31 00:10Z by Steven

Looking at Okinawa: Race, Gender, Nation

2017 UC Berkeley Graduate Student Conference: On Belonging: Gender, Sexuality and Identity in Japan
University of California, Berkeley
Moffitt Undergraduate Library
340 (BCMN Commons Seminar Room)
Berkeley, California
2017-04-09, 10:00-16:00 PDT (Local Time)

Ishikawa Mao, Photographer

Wendy Matsumura, Assistant Professor of Professor
University of California, San Diego

Annmaria Shimabuku, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies
New York University

This is a one-day event being held in order to create a dialogue on issues of race and gender in the study of Okinawa, and to contemplate the relationship between the study of Japan and the study of Okinawa.

We will initiate this dialogue with a lecture by photographer Ishikawa Mao, whose work explores the complex relationships of gender, race, and national identity in Okinawa and Japan. Her works have included including candid photographs of African American servicemen and their Okinawan and Japanese wives and girlfriends in Okinawa in the 1970s; and portraits of Japanese and Okinawan people with the national flag of Japan, interacting with it in various ways to demonstrate their complicated and often troubled relationship with the nation of Japan. Ishikawa is to give a slide show and talk about her work, focussing on her photographs of African American servicemen.

In the afternoon, we will hold a discussion between scholars, students, and members of the public, to be led by Professor Wendy Matsumura (UCSD) and Professor Annmaria Shimabuku (NYU), who, from the fields of cultural studies, sociology, and history, have been engaged in thinking about the role of Okinawan studies and its place in Japanese studies more generally. We will discuss what it means to study Okinawa in the American academy, and, drawing on Ishikawa’s work, we will examine the complicated role of race and gender in Japanese studies and Okinawan studies.

Sponsored by: Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), Townsend Center for the Humanities, Department of African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Center for Race and Gender, and Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

For more information, click here.

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mao ishikawa’s stunning photographs of her friends in 70s okinawa

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Interviews, Media Archive on 2017-03-29 15:22Z by Steven

mao ishikawa’s stunning photographs of her friends in 70s okinawa

i-D
2017-03-27

Paige Silveria

The cult Japanese photographer gives her first-ever English language interview, about her new book ‘Red Flower, The Women of Okinawa.’

This Tuesday, at New York’s subterranean photobook shop Dashwood, cult Japanese photographer Mao Ishikawa is signing her first monograph to be published in the United States: Red Flower, The Women of Okinawa. The newly released silkscreen book features striking black-and-white photographs of Mao and her girl friends, who worked in segregated GI bars, along with their boyfriends – the black army soldiers who frequented those bars in American-occupied Okinawa from 1975 to 1977. The images of carefree 20-year-olds as they laugh and cry, drink and fall in love, contrast sharply with the divisive tensions of the militarily controlled island…

Read the entire article here.

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