This is the last day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and what a month it’s been for me in terms of learning more about my heritage and the heritage of others like me.
- Hafu means “half” in Japanese. In the past, I’ve referred to myself as hapa, which is also correct, but that is a Hawaiian term. In fact, I always heard myself referred to as hapa haole, which means half-white. Now, I know that I am also hafu, or half-Japanese.
- Homemade mochi can be made easily with a machine!
- Though there was no reason to believe otherwise, I’d never imagined a Caucasian being raised in Japan. Yesterday, I watched a video by Ken Tanaka, called “Ken Tanaka Meets a Japanese Caucasian Man.”
This video made me smile, because it broke my expectations of what a “Ken Tanaka” would look like, (in fact, my Japanese cousin was married to a Ken Tanaka) and what a Caucasian man in Japan would sound like. Sometimes, it’s good to have such expectations shattered.
I’ve read many interesting histories of dozens of hafus. In some, I see some similarities, but their stories are wide and varied. I’ve made new friends. Best of all, when I see their photos, I suddenly feel a part of a larger family.
What have I gained from all of this? I believe that in the end, we are all unique and we are all the same.
I would love for some of my new hafu friends to share a little bit about themselves. I’ve listed some questions I’m curious about, but feel free to add any comments you’d like.
- Tell us where you were born, where you’ve lived.
- What nationalities are you in addition to Japanese?
- What has been the best part of being hafu? The worst?
- Is your mother or father Japanese?
- Do you speak Japanese? How many different languages do you speak?
And of course, I’m always happy to read comments from any of my friends and new readers!