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When I meet people, for the first time, I normally get that ??? look and get the question “Where are you from?”

I have a short-version and a long-version, but here is my long one. :)

I am part Japanese, part Chilean, and all Nikkei. Since my father was a diplomat, and moved a lot, I was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and lived in Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Japan, and Chile for 3 years in each country.

Since we were always moving, I was always the “foreigner” in any country that we went. In Chile I am “Chino” or “Japones” and in Japan, I am the “Latino” or “Gaijin” or sometimes “Hafu.”

Although this is changing in the past few years. I seem to see many more mixed people like me here in Japan. I think this is a good thing but at the same time, I am a little worried because I see many “Hafus” (Half Japanese as we are called in Japan) feel that being Hafu is being superior because now suddenly we are popular on TV, music videos, magazines and in movies.

I just feel that being mixed is great since you can understand different cultures and embrace more easily different views on life, but it is not a supernatural thing. As the comedian Russel Peters says, if we keep mixing like this, we will all be beige some day.

Until then, I need to give my short and long explanation to people who are curious. :) Here’s also a presentation that I gave Pecha-Kucha style (20 slides, 20 secs per slide), about identity.

And also an image that I made expressing what I see inside my mind.

2 thoughts on “Japanese, Chilean

  1. Hey!

    Good to hear there is another half Japanese half Chilean out there!

    My mother was born in Santiago, Chile and met my dad who is fourth generation Japanese here in California. I don’t really look like my mom or dad.

    Continue representing our unique half asian mix!

    Cheers,

    Kyle

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