Hawaiian, Indian, Hispanic, Italian, Chinese… I must have been mistaken for them all. When I tell people my background, I either get, “I had no idea!” or, “Wait, you’re Japanese AND Jewish?” or even, “You’re Japanese? But I thought you were Jewish!” as if I couldn’t be both. But I am! I am proud to have a Japanese mother and a Jewish father.
Growing up, I spoke Japanese and English at home and began studying Hebrew in school. I spent the school year in the U.S. and attended school in Japan during the summer. I might have become more Americanized over the years, but I plan on learning more Japanese language and culture, revisiting Japan, and taking a trip to Europe in the future.
In both countries, I get asked about my race, and I enjoy saying that I am multi-racial. There are things I just love about both, and I’m lucky to have them all. In any part of the world, Hapas are unique, and it is wonderful to be a part of multiple cultures.