What image we should have for hafu?

by Yuu Yokoyama

I’m interested in the topic; what is the good point by being born as hafu. In the TV which we watched last class, they answered, “People can remember us easily as hafu.” by this question. I was surprised this answer, but I also apply to this answer. We Japanese think hafu as special people and different ordinary Japanese although they are not special human but they are Japanese or another country people like us. This makes hafu different people.

I found out interested blog in which an interviewer asked a hafu person do you have good or bad experience as you are hafu (Joruju, 2011). That person is hafu between Japanese and Portuguese, but he have never been to go Portugal since he was born, he cannot speak both English and Portuguese, he can speak only Japanese and he studied in only Japan; thus his interior is Japanese.

He calls himself as unfortunate Japanese because he cannot speak English, he is not bilingual and he has no English name although he was born as hafu. He said that many Japanese expect he can speak English well and he lived in Portugal, but when people noticed the fact, people are always disappointed.

I think we Japanese take it for granted that hafu people can speak English and they have another name although not all hafu people are so and we are disappointed one-sidedly. Hafu people do not lie and they are innocent. I think it is serious problem.

Although internationalization go ahead, Japanese people still have the different view for foreigners and hafu people; we still judge by appearance. It is not always bad, but we should not have the prejudice for them. For example, my friend who came from Sweden has been studying in Japan for two years, so he can speak Japanese well. However when he speak Japanese outside, Japanese are surprised and looked at him. He said although he can speak Japanese well, Japanese talk to him in English because Japanese think foreigners cannot speak Japanese. He gets angry that thing. This is a little different from the circumstance of hafu but this is the fact that Japanese often judge people by appearance.

We Japanese think hafu people are beautiful or handsome, we often say “ Hafu! Urayamasii!” However, we should not jump to that conclusion. We have to think about hafu again because they are not special, same human. We should not judge by appearance. Hafu people have the same mind with us.

Joruju. (2011). What is the good point as hafu? Retrieved October 11, 2012, from http://theinterviews.jp/flyer-to/1117506

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