by Robert Moorehead
Somehow I’d missed seeing the brilliant videos of Jeff Chiba Stearns until now. These videos explore the ins and outs of being a Canadian of mixed Japanese ancestry, including the common query, “What are you anyways?” In Japan, that same question would be “Nanijin?”
Click on the picture above to see the 10-minute animated film “What are you anyways?” You should also visit One Big Hapa Family, in which the filmmaker explores these identity questions for his extended family.
From the filmmaker’s site:
Follow the adventures of the Super Nip as filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns explores his cultural backgrounds growing up a mix of Japanese and Caucasian in the small Canadian city of Kelowna, BC. This short classically animated film looks at particular periods in Jeff’s life where he battled with finding an identity being a half minority – from his childhood origins to the epic showdown against the monster truck drivin’ redneck crew.
“What Are You Anyways?” is a humorous yet serious story of struggle and love and finding one’s identity through the trials and tribulations of growing up.