Shizuka Anderson | アンダーソン静香
“What are social expectations you encounter as a hāfu in both countries?”
Please share your answer in the comment area below. どうぞページの下部に質問にお答え下さい。
|Lived in||Canada - Japan|
|Reading and Writing||⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪|
|Speaks||English - Japanese|
I come from a mixed of Japanese, Taiwanese and Singaporean.
As I was born in Singapore but grew up elsewhere, Just that I do not really connect much towards Japan, Taiwan or Singapore culturally nor do I call any of these countries home.
People who met me for the first time will ask the magically question, are you a local? (I speak a little weird as I grew up in UK but do not use the accent in Singapore). They will say I do not look like a local. Will always ask them back why do they think so and the answers are “you have small eye and look “foreign” not like a local”
I do not get ostracise as much back in Fukuoka but majority of the people whom I met just like what? you can speak 3 languages? That is so nice.
As a hāfu (mother from Osaka, father USA) I have never pigeonholed myself in terms of who I feel I am. When I am in Japan, where I spend a lot of time, nobody ever comments on my appearance or origin, which suits me fine. Curiously, in China where I reside, even strangers ask about my origin every single day because they instantly recognize that I have Asian roots. In any case it’s a good feeling inside to know I am a proud hāfu!
As a parent I see my daughter as the most precious thing I have ever seen. Her mother is Japanese, I am French and Canadian. My daughter has therefore three citizenship and I am glad to say that she speaks the three languages. I personally see her as whole. Neither better or worse just whole. I sincerely hope she will grow up grounded in the three cultures and feel she deserves all of them, proud of her dad and mom roots.
Calling our kids hafu or hapa or whatever labels them. US their mom and dad love them whole. I believe you are all fantastically unique and perfect.
As a quarter of Japanese-Indonesian-Chinese-Dutch, I grew up in Indonesia. Indonesian people doesn’t really care about my background. They welcome me as I am. But in Japan where I live now, Japanese people tend to ‘discriminate’ others who is not pure Japanese, even though I still have a Japanese blood. And everytime I tell people I’m quarter Japanese, they say “cool! can you speak English?”
As a hafu, with a parent who immigrated from Tokyo, Americans expect you to be completely knowledgeable of the culture and language …. and many actually just assume I’m Chinese automatically. I do speak Japanese and know Japanese sign language (my grandparents are deaf), but I did grow up in America and consider myself Americanized. In America, I find a lot of people don’t expect you to be that way. They almost expect you to act as if you are also a new immigrant to the country.
When I go to Japan, the look of terror on a cashier’s face because they don’t know english, people speaking to my Japanese family members and friends instead of to me – even if I speak in Japanese, people staring on the train and in the street because they can’t tell if I’m Japanese – these are all things I come to expect. However, unlike Americans, I find the Japanese do not have much expectation of hafus when it comes to custom and language. They applaud you if you can speak a little or want to practice their english, but they just treat you like a foreigner. They talk about how cool your looks are but it does make me wonder if they would have wanted to grow up hafu.
By the way, obsessed with this project!
But, being Canadian doesn’t it mean just white?