Sunday, 30 May 2010

Hafu Project

I was catching up on some MIJ (Married in Japan) posts (my old computer wouldn't open my hotmail account properly) when I came across this... posted by an MIJ member on behalf of Megumi Ishikura, a documentary filmmaker. Her current project is on 'Hafu' children. For those people not familiar with this term 'Hafu' (from the english word 'half') is used to describe children with one Japanese parent and one non-Japanese parent.

"... As many of you know, 1 in 18 marriages in Japan (and 1 in 10 in Tokyo) are international marriages. Even more surprising, 1 in 30 babies born today are born to a family where at least one of the parents is not Japanese. In order to address this growing diversity within Japan we began production of this film earlier this year..." (I for one had no idea statistics were this diverse. I guess that's because down here in the middle of nowhere things aren't so diverse)

There is a sneak preview / fundraiser being held in Tokyo on June 12.
"This event coincides with Loving Day - the day interracial marriage was legalized in the United States (June 12, 1967)" (Wow - I didn't know there was such a day. Does anybody know if there is a similar law in Japan? Very interesting indeed)

Right - Ryu awakes. Better go get him and have a play. The other two are out crab-hunting with daddy.  I have a few questions to ask about gardening (of all bloody things) and long haul travel with three small children. They will be coming soon. It is a bit addictive - now that I have a computer that starts up in seconds not hours.



selena said...

Hey GW - I was photographed for this project (I mentioned it on my blog here and can attest that the organizers, Marcia and Natalie, are very nice and intent on opening up questions of diversity in Japan and abroad. It's a cool projects and the photos (not mine!) are really beautiful.

selena said...

Ugh sorry link embed fail. That's what I get trying to be all fancy.

Adam W said...

A close friend of mine is the child of two Hafus whom were born and raised in Japan. She's had an interesting time trying to find her identity. I sent the link to her. Thanks.

Concerning the legalization of interracial marriages... One of my favorite sayings is "America: the last to accept, and the first to gloat."

world of sekimachihato said...

i often wonder about that word "hafu"... if someone asked me "is your baby hafu?" i think i will be very inclined to reply that no, he is not half, he is a whole; but yes, he is a mixed baby.

but i guess when the situation does arise the whole issue will suddenly become a bit mendokusai and i will just grin and agree i have a little half baby.

Lulu said...

Yeah the term "hafu" creates a bit of controversy but I must say I use it myself.

I do prefer the term mixed though but I guess it doesn`t come out right in Japanese.

I have heard a lot about this project though and am quite impressed with how it is going. Definitely one to keep an eye on!

Lisa said...

Hi Selena! I was photographed too (!) for the hafu photography/research project

I think the film project is focusing on five "hafus", one of them being a young hafu (just under 10 years old if I remember correctly).

The photography and film projects are both really interesting and I look forward to the book and the documentary!