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mixed race?


19 Sep 2003
i'm wondering if anyone is mixed like i am. somehow i see it as being quite different to being 'just' japanese and it's an important thing for me.

i don't see myself as either/or, or half-half, but both. most of the time it's great, but it can throw up some difficulties, like the fact i have both passports at the age of 21 when i shouldn't technically be allowed to, and the fact that i will never be accepted as 'japanese japanese' if i ever go back there.

of course the benefits far outweigh the negatives. like history and pride, advantages with careers (even tho thousands of non-japanese will speak japanese better than i ever will, quite unfairly i'll often be seen as better for being a 'native' speaker') and god knows what else..

err.. pls let there be others here too!
Well, you are not alone. My husband(Japanese national) and I(caucasian American) have 3 sons. Of course, they are only 5, 4, and 2 years old now. I'd love to hear more about your views and experiences on being half Japanese.

err.. well your kids will have it like i do, white mother japanese father. the massive difference will be that *fingers crossed* their dad will be around, my parents split up before i was 1.

i spent some time in japan as a kid but since i was abut 8 when my mum decided there was no way she was going to put me through the japanese education system i've lived in england. my dad lives here too, but i haven't lived closer than 200km (which is a long way, in a small country compared to the states even if it's just psychological) so this will be the 3rd year it will have been 12 months between us meeting up.

so my experience of japanese life is very limited, and when i meet japanese families it's always very apparent how different things are to how i get on with my family here (i very rarely get to see my japanese family, and then it's different again because i visit, and don't live with them)

i kinda wish i'd had more exposure, but then again when i was a kid all i wanted to do was play lego. mum decided it was pointless dragging me to japanese saturday schools when i stabbed a teacher in the hand with a pencil when he was trying to get me out from under a desk..

but when i was 17 i last went back for the first time as an 'adult'. and i realised how much of a foreigner in my own country as it were. it's a part of me i've explored very little and it really came as a shock, i'd never felt anything like it before, proud and lost and cheated and excited all at once. so i plan to go back for a year fairly soon.

err.. yeah.. dewa shitsurei 🙂
hm, well, 3 am here so not really awake for a long comment but... mixed race? im 3/4 german and 1/4 russian.
Just a side note, I think mixed kids in Japan (or anywhere for that matter) should be called "double" not "half." Has a different feeling to it, doesn't it?
Yeah, it has a politically correct ring to it.

Since I used "half Japanese" to describe my children, I hardly think of the term as demeaning. If you go around saying "half breed" or "half caste" I would say so, though.
Originally posted by Mandylion
Just a side note, I think mixed kids in Japan (or anywhere for that matter) should be called "double" not "half." Has a different feeling to it, doesn't it?
Double what, though? I think just the two nationalities or races or however they see themselves is probably better.
Originally posted by Elizabeth
Double what, though? I think just the two nationalities or races or however they see themselves is probably better.

I agree. Also, I would think if you said "double" it would mean twice the amount of something and that wouldn't apply either. They're not twice Japanese or twice whatever other race.

Yes, I believe whichever way the choose to identify themselves is best. I don't like to get lost in labels...
hrmm, well I am half Chinese and half Mexican. Or should I say double?? =D lol, yes labels are tricky, aren't they? So yes, my father is Chinese and my mother is Mexican. I have to admit being half of any race is hard. Being a minority is hard. Being a minority and still not quite fitting into that minority is hard, also. Lol, that made no sense... *cracks up* But you guys all get my point, right? Ah, well I'm just complaining because of my recent identity crisis. -_- Don't mind me.
yeah i'm half English and half Thai, i have both passports and i can speak both languages...i think its important to try and experiance both cultures... i studied in england for a few years, I didn't like it :) now im studying a major in Business Japanese ,in Thailand.
Kirei_na_mei I wans't going after you in my post, I know you don't think of your kids in a bad light. More it was a statement against the sometimes bad rap kids of mixed origins get in Japan. Sometimes is does carry a hint that they are less or excusably different because they are "half" something. "Double" would be a cultural reference. Plus, no ones kids are half anything unless you want to try for 2.5 kids and the house in the suburbs.

I agree it is important to be comfortable with who you are and not worry the labels people put on you. My post was a satirical jab at a trend in Japanese society that wasn't very clear. Sorry if it ticked anyone off. I wasn't intending to.
im real mixed up. i am, in no particular order; english, irish, scottish, finnish, welch, dutch, german, romanian, czech, french and cherokee indian. maybe some other things as well, id have to ask my mom she keeps track of all that kinda stuff.

i understood what you meant mandylion.
Well, that's me. I guess I'm just guilty of taking things personally sometimes. :eek:

Anyway, I have heard some horror stories about mixed children going to school in Japan. Sounds they can be picked on very badly. Maybe I've told this story before, but I once heard someone say(foreign woman with Japanese husband in Japan), that they had gotten comments from older Japanese people about their kids. Something along the lines that it was a disgrace that the Japanese bloodlines were weakening...

half.. well , 'my mother is italian and my dad is dutch so. but none can tell , well its white-white unlike all of you. ..yeah.
u might liked to know.
kirei_na_me, that luckily never happened to me. i grew up in a small town so it was more common for me to be thought of something as a novelty and sometimes even a minor celebrity of sorts (only by older housewives, much to my embarrassment) but that was 20 years ago. things will have changed now of course..

best thing to do no matter which country you live in is to understand these ppl have much smaller horizons than you have, and feel how they feel because their point of view is very narrow. i mean for a start it's a very hurtful thing to say and second, it's simply not going to happen. the number of mixed race children are far outweighed by 'purebloods' no matter where you go, and it will always be that way due to personal choice and geography being what it is.

and they probably won't want to hear that japanese are not pureblood themselves, the indeginous ainu tribes were all but wiped out by invaders from china and korea anyway :p
How much of your Japanese heritage have you (with or without your parents' help) tried to learn/maintain? How much of Japanese can you speak/read/write?

My wife is Japanese, so our son is part Japanese and part American. I am just now exploring various aspects of the situations he will face. I gave him a Japanese first name partly so he would always retain that part of his heritage, and I hope he becomes bilingual and as bicultural as possible, no matter where my wife and I live.
Originally posted by sentofuno

i don't see myself as either/or, or half-half, but both. most of the time it's great, but it can throw up some difficulties, like the fact i have both passports at the age of 21 when i shouldn't technically be allowed to, and the fact that i will never be accepted as 'japanese japanese' if i ever go back there.

This is something that interests me. I am English and my wife is Japanese. Our daughter was born in England and currently has an English passport.

We are keen for her to have a Japanese passport too. My wife says she has to choose between English & Japanese when she is 18. As far as I can tell, it's best to choose Japanese, because she will always be accepted as English anyway because she was born here, and therefore be able to keep both.

Is this the case? Any advice?

I see no problem with the word 'half' by the way. Two halves make a whole - the Japanese half (wife) and English half (me). It makes more sense than double. I don't really see her in terms of race - relevant though it is in may ways. I just see her as Miya.
Grachan, my children will also be able to choose if they want to keep their Japanese citizenship when they become 18. I also see it as being a benefit. Since they were born in the U.S., they will always be American citizens, but if they don't choose to keep their Japanese citizenship at 18, they will lose it forever. Right now, they have all the rights that any other Japanese citizen has plus the rights of being an American citizen.

Right now, my husband is looking into getting our oldest son the standard first grade text sent here from Japan because he is a Japanese citizen, and therefore, entitled to it--among other things.

Also, I see it as a draft dodging tactic. In case of any draft after my sons turn 18, I'll just send them to Japan.

Miya is beautiful, by the way!
Mixed race? It's great!

Well hey, I thought I might as well put in my 2pence worth.

I'm actually half-English, half-Chinese, and I grew up in Malaysia, with a bunch of other half-halfs!

It's funny, because I have met some mixed race people years later, who have trouble with their identity "I don't know what I am...it's so hard...I'm so confused..." Some people do have this problem...and they don't feel they are a part of anything...an outcast.

However, the other group, like myself and sentofuno, just see ourselves as part of 2 cultures! Best of both worlds one could say. And I've lived half of my life (till I was 13) with Chinese people, and the other half of my life with Brits!

I do believe that the formation of my character was back in Malaysia, and therefore I tend to click a lot better with Asians. So bear that in mind when your kids are growing up...they will probably mix easier with people of a similar growing-up-culture. But at the end of the day, one can adapt.

One last observation was that while I was in Japan, due to my Oriental features, some Japanese thought I was Japanese...but would just check "Nihonjin desu ka?" And I didn't have people moving away from me when I sat down on the train (even though I'm a bearded 6ft2-er). They actually seemed to accept both my cultures...which was weird...but nice!

All in all, I've enjoyed my heritage, and I'm sure your kids will as well...my half-halfness, or whatever...I'm not really one to care about political correctness too much...just as long as people aren't rude.

And the great thing is that by the time your kids are older, the Japanese youth of today - who love eigo, will probably think of them as a cool entity.

After all, being mixed is in fashion, and the Japanese youth LOVE fashion!

I think almost everyone is mixed to a certain extent. :/

I consider myself Canadian because Canada is where I was born and I've lived there all my life but my background is mostly Dutch with a bit of French from my mother's side.

I guess that's not as different though as people who are a mix of an asian background and a white background, etc.

I'm quite interested in Japanese men though as well as some other asian men so who knows, I might have some very mixed children someday.
Originally posted by Carolgirl00
my recent identity crisis

Hope, your identity crisis is over. If not, I think, you should focus on yourself, not on your heritage. As an individualist this is the best advice I can give you. Concentrate on your mind & your abilities, for that is what makes you an individuum.

Just out of curiosity: When you say Mexican, do you mean white or indian?

BTW, all humans are half-half, for half the genes are from father, the other half from mother. (That is, all naturally conceived humans.)
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