Ran van Riel | 宮原蘭

“Have you ever wanted to look less or more Japanese?”


Please share your answer to Ran’s question in the comment area below.

About Ran:

Born inthe Netherlands
Lived inthe Netherlands
Speaks Japanese⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪
Reading and Writing⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪
SpeaksDutch - Japanese - English - German - French

  • Emi Arimoto says:

    I have never thought this before. I am really happy the way I am. I believe that it is really awesome to be part of two cultures extremely different -Costa Rican and Japanese- I was raised in Costa Rica and lived there my whole life and people often mistaked me as Chinese (that’s because there are a lot of Chinese people in CR) but I have never had problems of racism or something similar. Right now, I am living in Japan and it is the same; I haven’t had experience any xenophobic attitude.

  • Selena Moon says:

    I’ve spent 3/4 of my life wishing I was (or at the very least looked) completely Caucasian. I’m slowly starting to embrace the fact that I’m not.

  • Yoshinori Mizoguchi says:

    Was thinking about this the other day. Seems like I never fit anywhere. Japanese see me as latin, but on the inside I’m not. It is a culture x look struggle.

  • Funny question, never thought about it. My face is of many: I can be a lot of Nationalities. They look at me and call all sorts of names/cultures/nationalities, never the right one, like with all of you. But I like it that way, an international person, a bridge between all. That is what we are. In the future there will only be mixed people. But I am fine with the way I look, not more or less Japanese.

  • Ken says:

    No, I’m so super.

  • I cannot remember a time when I wished I look less Japanese. Although, I usually have people confuse my nationality as Korean. (;*.

  • Facebook User says:

    It’s up and down for me here in Europe. Some Danes think I’m obviously not Danish, others think I’m Danish. Immigrants often think I’m Danish, and of course, Asians usually don’t believe I’m half Japanese.

  • Facebook User says:

    if I don’t tell people Im mixed, they don’t seem to see the Japanese side. So in Spain I pass for a Spaniard, but just recently some people ask me if I’m Latina. Maybe I morphed a little as I reached adulthood lol.

  • Facebook User says:

    I noticed that whenever I meet other hafu, I compare their Japanese-ness with mine. Not their western-ness. But I guess that what all hafu have in common is that none of us can pass for Japanese in Japan. And in the west (Europe in my case) no one seems to notice my Asian features.

  • Facebook User says:

    Great question!!! I have often struggled with this – I always loved looking hafu/hapa, but as I got older, it seemed like many folks couldn’t tell that I was mixed. I still get irritated when this happens! xx and I often have this discussion!

    • Facebook User says:

      We have, xx. I personally think I look Haafu, but not only do people not see it but they often don’t believe me when I tell them. It’s really bizarre! I don’t necessarily wish that I looked more Japanese, I guess I just wish I looked more like something that was recognizable, if that makes sense. I don’t look English either. I’m really in the middle!

  • Facebook User says:

    As a child I wanted to look more Japanese but by adolescence I was happy being Hapa. Which is probably why I married another Hapa so I could have Hapa looking children.

  • Facebook User says:

    I don’t think I every really thought about it, but I think if I did I would want to look more Japanese. That being said, when I was younger I definitely looked more Asian than I do now 60 years later! imho

  • Facebook User says:

    I started carrying around a photo of my mom and dad and bro (when he was a baby) around in my wallet. Of course some Jpnse would say, that foto came with the wallet, LOL. #joke

  • Facebook User says:

    When I was younger I wanted to look less, now that I’m older I wish I had a little more of an Asiatic look to give Nihonjin more of a clue cause I’m tired of hearing “USO” when I tell them I’m haafu. :-)

  • Facebook User says:

    Just asked my boys (7yo and 9yo) both replied このままで良い!

  • Facebook User says:

    I always wanted to look more Japanese. When I was younger I used to go to a lot of effort to tie my hair up so tight in order to pull the corners of my eyes up further. I’m happy with myself now of course, I am who I am!

  • Facebook User says:

    Yes totally. There was a time when I really just wanted to be one or the other. As an only child, I’m the only one who is mixed, so with both sides of my family I kind of stick out. When I was growing up, I just wanted to belong. But now, no way – I’m super happy with it and wouldn’t have it any other way! And it amuses to me to no end when people are trying to figure out where I’m from. ;-)

    • Facebook User says:

      I need to think more like you!! When I was younger, people seemed to be able to tell more that I was hafu, and now that I’m getting older (and my dad has passed on) and my only sibs are half-sibs and I’m the only mixed one, many people don’t seem to see it as much. I struggle with not being annoyed and hurt and irritated by this. I love your outlook and will try to remember this from now on!!

      • Facebook User says:

        Trust me, it wasn’t always like this. I went through various phases – some of them not so pretty ;-) – and went to the UK and Japan to go “find myself” to ultimately only figure out that I belonged wherever & whoever I was. Self-acceptance has been a long and windy road – but am getting closer! And while I don’t have siblings, I really do love how I can meet other people who are mixed and really connect with them – like you! xx

  • Mei Tayama says:

    I’ve never felt that I wanted to look less Japanese but there were moments when I wished my German roots weren’t as visible. I have a Japanese name, speak and write Japanese fluently, but my face does not match peoples expectations. Living in Japan, I sometimes find it tiring that I have to explain my mixed background over and over again. Also being told every now and then that I wasn’t Japanese enough to understand certain cultural or social issues, it gets to me. There are moments when I just want to blend in, absolutely.

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