Growing Up As A Hafu In Japan

Growing Up As A Hafu In Japan


Yumi Nakata

Even though Japan is far more Westernized today than it has ever been, it still remains a very homogeneous country. The government has been trying to promote internationalization and also improve the English curriculum in schools but the process takes times and Japan is not a country that moves quickly.

As more foreigners choose to live in Japan, the number of interracial children has been on the rise. These children who have a non-Japanese parent are called “Hafu”, a twist on the English word half. Some people say these mixed children should be called “double” instead of “half”.

I am actually Hafu myself. My mother is from South East Asia and my father is Japanese. They met while my mother was studying in Japan as an international student. All of us, Hafu who grow up in Japan share the same dilemma. Hafu children are minorities so we struggle to fit into the mainstream Japanese society that constantly teaches us the importance of harmony and unity. At least, I look Japanese and people would never know that I am Hafu unless I tell them but what about the Hafu children who look non-Japanese?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,