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Are most halvsies individualists?
#1
Do you think most halvsies don't feel obligated enough to have ethnic pride for either of their ethnic sides?
Is it a natural position for them to take that individualistic path because they feel different and because of the hanbun complex? ( the ones with the complex are the ones who can't speak japanese fluenlty and perfectly, i imagine, no offense!)


This is a sincere question thanks.
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#2
It's fairly hard to generalize with halvsies, as can be seen on these forums, simply because of the varying degrees of cultural exposure that halvsies go through. There may be certain tendencies for halvsies growing up in similar environments, but even then, you'd be hard pressed to find people that feel exactly the same way about their mixed heritage. In my personal case, I've never felt pressured to be more/less proud of either of my ethnic sides (I have, of course, been at times embarrassed or proud of each *country*, so to speak, but the heritage is something all together different.)

This is likely the result of the fact that I despite living and growing up in America, I was regularly exposed to Japanese culture, sent to Japan, etc. And that also meant I always had the best toys, so my friends loved the fact that I was half-Japanese [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif[/img]
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#3
people who are halvsies shouldn't see them selves as "half and half" but as "full and full" it doesn't make sense statistically but just think about it. that way of logic clears out that barrier in your mind that most halfs have of "just a half nothing more nothing less"

I actually think it's in the best interest that all halvsies who want to connect with japanese on a ethnic level go out and learn Japanese fluently, most Japanese won't even see you as just a person who is half japanese anymore once they know your capable of speaking Japanese perfectly. They'll see you as one of them.

I know some Japanese-Americans Nikkei's ( both japanese parents) who can't speak Japanese at all, and they would go to japan and get discriminated and feel rejected because they can't speak Japanese. If they were able to speak Japanese in the first place, discrimination and rejection wouldn't have happen. I know i was there with them, i actually did all the translating for them.

Language(s) = your identity more so than looks.

Someone tell me i'm wrong.
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#4
In Japan, it's looks first, then language. I believe that I'm fairly well accepted in Japan because of my speaking ability, like you said, but there is still a barrier, particularly with people who don't know you or hardly do. I'd never be mistaken for being native Japanese by anyone living in Japan.

I've actually heard that it can be more difficult for nikkei visiting Japan than it is for halvsies, regardless of whether or not they speak the language (assuming that the nikkei in question either doesn't speak Japanese or is unfamiliar with customs in Japan). Being halvsie, if you speak even a little Japanese, many people (at least at first) are pleasantly surprised. It's a great ice breaker. But if you *look* Japanese and don't speak it, or if you speak it perfectly but know nothing about Tokyo, people will react negatively, thinking you're retarded or something. It's apparently quite frustrating.
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#5
Very true, Hapacheese! But I also think most Nikkei are quite proud of their Nikkei culture and don't really desire to be Japanese. The identity problems seem to occur more in people like myself who speak Japanese and were raised with Japanese culture but exposed to Nikkei culture as well, resulting in a sense of cultural inbetweeness. I feel comfortable in both cultures, yet not completely at home in either. As a matter of fact, now I find I have a lot in common with 'halvsies'. OMG...I'm a 'Walvsie'! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laughlong.gif[/img]
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#6
Yah, it's all about looks, as far as I can see in the altogether about 10 years I've lived here. I can speak Japanese with a normal accent etc etc but I look foreign so I always am seen as such.
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#7
When I visited Japan in 1989, I had no trouble being a "gaijin" as I did my homework before I went. I read a lot of books about travel in Japan and learned a lot about the culture before I went.

I do not look very asian so I was readily identified as a U.S. Citizen. I referred to myself as a "Bekokujin".

I went alone which surprised many Japanese. So I am an individualist.
Matthew Ota
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#8
not a complex, but just because there usually isn't a halvsie social group around you when you're growing up, so you're more or less forced to be an individualist where as others have more choice (even in multicultural societies, people tend to hang with their own "kind") i guess attending an international school in japan would've been a completely different experience as there'll be halvsies galore.
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#9
Let's be honest, in japan or to japanese people, do you think a halvsie who looks more japanese will be seen the same as a halvsie who looks less japanese?

But see if a halvsie, whoo looks less japanese and speaks fluent japanese compared to a halvsie who looks more japanese and who doesn't speak japanese, then i'd say the halvsie who looks less japanese is more japanese than the more japanese looking halvsie.

Plus i've seen pure japanese who like surprisingly like halvsies, they are still seen as japanese. well at least to me.
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#10
i think you are all right about the looks coming first in Japan... I have found that because you dont look japanese, they tend to think that you cant speak a word of it. And like Hapacheese said, its a pleasant surprise for them when they find out you do and it is definatly an ice breaker!
I went to school in japan for 3 months when i was about 8... i was put in a class with my cousin. everyone was pretty friendly to me, but my cousin got bullied by some people (who were actually her friends), maybe because of jealously? who knows... they stopped hanging out with her because they kept saying to her that now she had me she didnt need them...

Japanese people tell me i dont look japanese, and english people tell me i dont look english... so what am i??!! lol

about the individualist thing... on a slightly diferent note, ive always found that im an individualist.. i dont know the reason for it.. but im also not quite sure what individualist means...
with friends and stuff, ive never had a close circle of friends - as in being in a friendship group who all hang out together all the time, i always seem to end end up being friends with like 1 person from all different groups... so seeing many different people rather than just the same group all the time...
dunno if this is of any relevance!


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#11
<!--quoteo(post=210750:date=Aug 21 2008, 09:03 AM:name=gh3tt0nikkei)-->QUOTE(gh3tt0nikkei @ Aug 21 2008, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->Do you think most halvsies don't feel obligated enough to have ethnic pride for either of their ethnic sides?
Is it a natural position for them to take that individualistic path because they feel different and because of the hanbun complex? ( the ones with the complex are the ones who can't speak japanese fluenlty and perfectly, i imagine, no offense!)


This is a sincere question thanks.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


I am not sure about the other hanbun, but I never learned to speak fluent, perfect Japanese.
I think my mother passing away when I was eight years old might have added to the complexity, though...
You might think that I am half crazy.

Well, I am a Halvsie!

So you are half right!
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#12
Yes I agree that one of the worst human failings is that people are judged on their appearance.

I was not a fan of Martin Luthor King, but my favorite quote of his was that people should not be judged on the color of their skin but on the content of their character.

For instance, many people think that overweight people are gluttons, and eat to much and do not realize that it is caused by a faulty metabolism. I have a freind in Los Angeles who is severely overweight, and had surgery to reduce his stomach to the size of a walnut. But he is still overweight after the surgery.

After living in Southern California for 28 years of interfacing with the Nikkei people there, I realized that in many ways I was more "Japanese American" in outlook and character than many other nikkei I met, especially ones of the yonsei and gosei generations. Even though I am a halvsie and do not look very nikkei, I consider myself to be one.
Matthew Ota
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#13
yes i also agree. in some way i am also an individualist. but not so much anymore.
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#14
I only remember being included in Japan, even though my Japanese was limited in most Japanese things. I also look like my Aunt (Takenaka). Especially travelling, many people like to use their English. Even my 1st time in Tokyo, my Japanese Aunt spoke english with us most of the time... I think she speaks Russian, Japanese, English, French, etc.
It didn't take me too long to figure out what people were talking about in Japanese, so... I suppose it is also different because of who my family is. It is like they are a part of Japan's culture due to having such a history in creating major buildings, and things in Japan.

I think, in fact, for me it is the opposite. Even though I grew up in the States;- people here have always told me that I don't belong here in their American culture. This was a common denominator from the time I was born and all the way through college and to the present day with the new Patriot Act laws. As I was explaining to a friend the other night, My relatives built Japan and have lineage there in a serious way. the USA bombed Japan. The people here are still not accepting of my mother's presence, and they did not treat my brother and I fairly or even give my sister a fair chance at having a life. It is their European Christian mentality of "Forgive us for what we did...accept our way!".

I feel that i'm not accepted anywhere in the world besides Asia. I have always felt that way. Even if there are problems with different Asian countries;- US people have made it quite clear that they will always put me down and try to make an example of me;- so other international people can see how lowly my life is, and to laugh at me and berate my Japanese family.

My personal opinion of the East Coast USA is an extremely harsh one at this point in time. People make light of my situation. I tried to fit in;- be accepted, even in Environmental crowds. Unfortunately, my participation made me quite seperate in Approach to problems;- because I take a Japanese way that is more in line with Takenaka corp. (despite no real concious effort on that front). I believe in Skyscrapers, not sprawl or living "in nature" to destroy it.

Just about everything about me is not in line with East Coast American Environmentalism, culture, "looks", respect, etc.
I admit at this point that I probably have more of a Japanese/ European mindset due to all the European teachers I had in life.
so, no... I don't know if I'm an individualist;- aside from how I look at things being "different" from the norm on the East Coast.
I could go on for an hour about the differences between what Americans on the Eastcoast call peace activist and what I define as peace activist, etc.
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#15
QUOTE gh3tt0nikkei "But see if a halvsie, whoo looks less japanese and speaks fluent japanese compared to a halvsie who looks more japanese and who doesn't speak japanese, then i'd say the halvsie who looks less japanese is more japanese than the more japanese looking halvsie." end QUOTE.

You do have a good point there because language and culture go hand in hand. But there's a difference in how you see yourself and how others see you. And naturally, how others see you has an impact on how you see yourself.

When Japanese people in Japan SEE a Japanese looking person, they have preconceived expectations on how that person should speak and behave. A Nikkei or Japanese looking person who inadvertently commits a faux pas will undoubtedly earn some odd looks. However, if the person doesn't look very Japanese, they aren't expected to speak and act Japanese (and it's a huge 'plus' if they do!).

I met a Black/Japanese halvsie in high school (in my day, many, many years ago...the 'minority' kids hung out in groups based on 'ethnicity') . And although she spoke really good Japanese, she found her comfort zone in the Black group.

Oh and um...sorry about Japan not getting the bronze. But how much longer must we endure seeing Hoshino's face everywhere???!!! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/crazy.gif[/img]
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#16
It seems like for me - and for many halvsies, i think - there will really always be a mix of being part of both halves and being "a whole other" at the same time, and some days you feel more like one culture/ethnicity than the other.

Genetically speaking, we all really are 100% of both parents (i.e. recessive genes). We inherit 100% of our biological ancestry, even as evolution occurs and even if cultural practices aren't present in our particular lives, it's still our history, which is nice to think about. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/happy.gif[/img]
I think i'm an individualist in that I like knowing that I am a blend and can take or leave what I want from my background, shaping myself as a person in a particular, unique situation. And while of course, sometimes, I think it would be nice to feel like I belong somewhere in particular (to look 100% japanese, or 100% whatever, so I can put an end to the superficial judgements/assupmtions) I like being a "wanderer." It keeps things interesting and open, gives me a good perspective that's useful when relating to others.
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#17
<!--quoteo(post=210822:date=Aug 23 2008, 11:35 PM:name=yamapikko)-->QUOTE(yamapikko @ Aug 23 2008, 11:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->But see if a halvsie, whoo looks less japanese and speaks fluent japanese compared to a halvsie who looks more japanese and who doesn't speak japanese, then i'd say the halvsie who looks less japanese is more japanese than the more japanese looking halvsie.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Hold on just a minute. Just why do we put so much emphasis on finding a relative value of "Japaneseness?" As long as I've been here, people have been using "you're not Japanese (at least not as much as I am)" as an insult, and I think this sort of thing just encourages that bullshit. I realize that yes, we want to find our niche and identity and blah blah blah, but I think when we are seriously thinking about a relative hierarchy of just how Nihonjin people are, we risk becoming small-minded, exclusionary, and cliquey, and I think that's the last thing we need.
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#18
@dkd - yeah, i think that's true, actually...it's like people claiming that a "true" American, or a "true" Brit is measured in *this* way, along these lines and set criteria. It really makes no sense, is completely UNtrue, and encourages what you mentioned there.
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#19
<!--quoteo(post=210836:date=Aug 24 2008, 07:18 AM:name=doorknobdeity)-->QUOTE(doorknobdeity @ Aug 24 2008, 07:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->Hold on just a minute. Just why do we put so much emphasis on finding a relative value of "Japaneseness?" As long as I've been here, people have been using "you're not Japanese (at least not as much as I am)" as an insult, and I think this sort of thing just encourages that bullshit. I realize that yes, we want to find our niche and identity and blah blah blah, but I think when we are seriously thinking about a relative hierarchy of just how Nihonjin people are, we risk becoming small-minded, exclusionary, and cliquey, and I think that's the last thing we need.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Yamapikko didn't write that, moron. Don't misquote people.

You need to understand something, there are halvsies who have been really influenced by their japanese heritage since they were born and they are proud of it. they speak japanese, they listen to japanese music, they have japanese friends, they have family in japan, and some even look japanese and therefore lean toward their japanese side. You can't blame them for emphasizing the value of their japaneseness.
I think the reason you come off bitter on this subject is that you're incapable of fitting in with a japanese group socially and physically as a halvsie or as a japanese unlike halfs who are capable and so i understand how you base your theory. but you need to realize not all halvsies are in the situation your in. It's a frustration process you'll have to overcome by yourself or with other halvsies that can relate to you. Or just accept that your white.

im still curious dorknob, do you claim to have japanese blood? Or whats the deal with you, what is your exact relation to japan and being japanese?
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#20
Oh...oops...heh heh I forgot to leave gh3tt0nikkei's quote in quotes...

But anyway, I don't think gh3tt0nikkei is saying Japanese are superior or that the more Japanese you are, the better. Notice that he DID say (and I'm not quite quoting) something like Halvsies should think of themselves as Full and Full.

This thread seemed to veer slightly off-topic when the question of looks vs language was brought up, but the original question is a valid one. I think he specified Japanese because this is a Half-Japanese forum, and that's the common trait shared here. Does being able to connect fully with both halves make the person less likely to be individualistic?...granted, it's not an easy question to answer, but it's a good question nonetheless.

So...sorry for the missing quotation marks (ugh, I was never good at grammar).




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