How can Japanese people accept hafu? Hafu people struggle with Japanese society

by Kazuki Ando

In Japan, there are a lot of hafu people. In fact, there are many types of hafu. For example, some hafu  have a white parent and a Japanese parent. Other hafu have an Asian parent and a Japanese one. According to the article, a member of hafu project has struggles with prejudice against hafu in Japan. On their experience, most members had bad memory. While people in other country accept these people, people in Japan tend not to accept them. It is really controversial problem now in Japan. How should Japan change this situation?

First, I learned that hafu have some troubles. For example, a hafu man who is French and Japanese worked in Japan, and then he had a French name and a Japanese name. He tried to use his Japanese name, however his boss suggested him that he should use his French name. I think it’s a kind of discrimination against him. His boss wanted the customer to overlook him because he is a foreigner. Next, I have some hafu friends, and I saw some discrimination against them when I was elementary school student.  However, I don’t see such discriminations right now in university life. What’s the difference? In my opinion, while young people have curious about the difference between them, university student can understand the difference of looks and culture. These processes through elementary school student to university student are significant to accept these people.

Second, we are not familiar with hafu people unlike people in other country. That’s why we have a good image of hafu. For instance, hafu can speak more than two languages and their looking is so cool or cute. We have such good images, so we can’t understand their feelings. For me, to know their feelings about being hafu is first time. Besides we can’t distinguish hafu people from foreigners because they look absolutely foreign, not Japanese. Hafu regarded these prejudice against them as serious problem, so I pointed out that these problems comes the difference between hafu and Japanese in terms of looking.  As my professor mentioned, most hafu people in Japan came from some Asian countries, so they have no difference with us. I agree with his opinion, and they can easily assimilate themselves into Japanese society, compared to hafu people from Europe. That’s why white hafu need to assimilate to Japanese society easily, too.  It is necessary for Japanese to understand both advantages and disadvantages.

In conclusion, Japanese culture is said to be homogeneous, so we have the image of a typical Japanese. In addition, Japanese are also stereotypes, so Japanese don’t tend to accept people who have difference between Japanese and hafu. It’s difficult to remove the way Japanese think soon from now on. As a result, I think Japanese need the education about culture of heterogeneous in order to understand the way of thinking, and should learn that hafu has a lot of distresses. In fact, hafu people looks different, compared to us. However it doesn’t matter now. I hope that it is possible for both Japanese and hafu to make harmony with each other.


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