I grew up in a small town with little cultural diversity. Although I’m Hapa, I feel that it often goes unnoticed because I look white. I also feel a bit different from other Hapas because my parents moved here when they were in their late teens so I was raised very differently. At my home Japanese was our first language, and yes, fresh rice was made daily.
I also had a little bit more confusion because I am actually not half Japanese, I’m half Okinawan and there are some mainland Japanese that are very racist against Okinawans.
I always felt more Japanese (Okinawan) than anything, but I lost touch with it in middle school through high school. I used to hate my middle name, until I was 15 years old. My driving instructor asked me if my middle name was really “Yummy” and I laughed and said, “No, I know it’s embarrassing, it’s Japanese.”
She said, “Girl be proud — not many people can say their middle name is Yummy!!! Own it!!”
Today, I actually wish it was my first name so more people will ask me about my heritage because I love sharing my story and hope that I’ll find more people just like me. I consider myself to be blessed to be so unique, one of a kind, and I’m proud to say that I am Hapa!!