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A 'hafu' in Japan

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7 comments

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Dawan

Great post! My cousin was born in the 70s as “lokung”= hafu in Thailand with a mother from Thailand and father american. Sadly she was left behind in Thailand but thats another story. At that time in Thailand it was very bad to be with a white man because people would see you as a prostitue. I remember my cousin would be teased alot because of her “differences”. Later I moved to Sweden and things was changing alot with Thailandopen borders to more tourist. Its now fully accepted to be with a white man. And now everybody wants to look like a “lokung”. My daughter get stopped all the time in Thailand where people would say “oh lokung” and ask questions.
And Ive heard the same by someone we meet in Japan that people who has been studing abroad gets harder a job. Hopefully that would change!

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Kate

Wow, I love how honest you are. And it really makes me think of what I’m doing to my girls. One South African father, one American mother, two girls who are in Switzerland. Their zurideutsch is probably not the best. Is their High German? Oh goodness. Do you think about how you are raising your girls often? Will their school be Italian? So interesting isn’t it all? (I’m also the youngest of three girls)

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Miki Nava

Yes, exactly what happened with me! But at least we were both able to rise above it and realise we still did benefit from a mixed upbringing:)

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Stephanie

I had the same experience with earrings! I never wore earrings to school usually since it was forbidden but one Monday morning I forgot to take my small diamond studs out. My history teacher said お前はもう髪の毛が不良なんだからピアスはいいかげんにしろ。Basically, that because my brown, naturally slightly wavy hair was already breaking the regulations (no perms or hair dyeing allowed), I shouldn’t push things further by trying to get away with earrings. I was so insulted to be held accountable for my hair and to see he said nothing when ‘pure’ Japanese girls sometimes wore earrings. That said, like you, I consider growing up hafu in Japan to have been a blessing overall despite some low moments. I definitely feel more a citizen of the world rather than one country and I know I could adapt anywhere!

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Miki Nava

Yes I think about how to raise them constantly! At the moment they go to Italian kindergarten but I really want them to go to international school. Not because the Italian schools are bad, just because that’s how I was brought up and I feel it really opened my eyes to different nationalities. And besides, I wouldn’t be able to help with with their homework if they went to Italian school;) But it’s still under discussion, I’m looking at the pros and cons constantly….

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Miki Nava

Yes, the same as my mom Dawan, people would automatically assume she’s a prostitute because she was with a white man – she hated leaving the house with him, unless my sister was with them so they could see she’s not a prostitute! Now it has changed for sure, people are intrigued and interested in it.

Mar 27, 2017 • Posted by Francesca

This is really interesting. I travelled to Japan (my american husband has lived there for one year) and I found that people were very welcoming and also curious about western culture. It is surprising to see instead how close their culture is. It also made me think about how my daughter will fit in here in Switzerland and if she will be fully accepted once she start school.

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