Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPA Family Dysfunction Day!

If those of you who are monoracial think you've got problems with family dysfunction during the holidays, consider what's it like for mixed-race folks who have the addition of two or more ethnicities to deal with when it comes to practicing customs and rituals.

Personally, my mother is not all that into holidays and her apathetic husband, being the atheist that he is, frees me from some of the rhetoric that other multiracial people tell me they experience around this time of the year. Do we do Christmas, Xmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, or Tet--or, none of the above? Drop me a comment and tell me what you do in your house, how you do it, and why.

Thanks to the Mixed Chicks, Fanshen and Heidi, for another great podcast today. Some of us were on the show explaining our complicated mixed-heritage names. You can listen to any of the past podcasts by going to:

And, Allison Manushikin, who is searching for mixed-race writers, sent me the following email:

Mixed Race People!!!

Having a hard time deciding where you fit, frustrated with identity politics? Got something to say?!!! Mestizo Revelations is a 'zine inspired potential book project that is about examining race and what being mixed is/means, without necessarily having to tie in to other ethnic movements to find validity. Some of my friends and I are tired of old paradigms in identity politics and are interested in challenging those paradigms by describing where we (as mixed people) are now, philosophically.

As you know, mixed race literature is often quite stagnant, especially ethnic studies, so this is the antidote to all of that. We are looking for voices, new to the scene, to speak about not only our personal histories as mixed race people, but also to submit commentaries on identity politics as a whole, through essays, poems, or visual presentations. The project will also include photo shoots. Eventually, I'd like to pursue a grant to fund publishing this.

This is a fun project for all involved and I'd like to emphasize a sense of humor in your writing--don't write as though you're preaching, remember you're writing for an audience that may not have any idea about our experiences, and reach deep inside yourself for interesting histories and ideas! (Think the tongue in cheek, yet innovative and political humor of Hyphen Magazine). Please forward widely to other mestizos who might be interested as well!!!

The deadline for submission is January 31, 2009. Please contact Allison at or 323-706-8320 with your pieces or questions and I'd be happy to show you a sample of what we've started working on already. Or, alternatively, you can read my blog which conveys the sort of direction I'm heading in.

Back to the holidays--for those of you who participate, it's never too early to go shopping and if you're looking for something special for your hapa friends, check out Hapa*Teez at Cafe Press. Besides proclaiming hapa pride, you'll be getting a good bargain, help support the film and you'll receive a rear crawl credit, too.

That's Eva, Teri and Cassie above modeling Hapa*Teez. Make your purchase here:

Until next week, I humbly remain

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mixed-Race Mutts Unite! Arf!

It appears that the idea of mixed-race folks uniting to create their own communities is disturbing to some. It's almost (but light years away still) reminiscent of how some were bothered by the black nationalist movement of the 1960's. In fact, someone (a social networking site "friend") was threatened enough to send me the following email (I've edited for profanity, punctuation and spelling--the bad grammar stayed):

"Hey dere sweet Yayoi...No thanks your post which I found on my email alert today...I gotta pull yer coat a bit on this one...Please excuse my response if you find it harsh, and please take no offense as it is meant only constructively, but: You are seemingly so into this really quite inconsequential mixed "mutt" race thing--do a black/white parental mix make a black or white child?--WHO the (eff) CARES? Like, come on, does it really matter much, or at all? Like, get off it awready--it's quite meaningless and your obsessing on it makes it in and of itself somewhat demeaning to all of us that you direct it to, having to read the inner pain of it, involving us in your deep hang-up on it. Can you just glean perhaps it's just not really of any importance or consequence this mixed racial thing you're into? My three racially mixed grandchildren (in their 20's) never even mention it ever, or show or indicate any negative consciousness of it at all! They just exemplify both cultures so beautifully! I would think that's more where the whole thing with our, Thank God, newly elected President should be at--where our society and interpersonal reactions should truly be at! Let it go, forget the demeaning "mutt" race thing's truly quite meaningless and so way unimportant to even mention--let alone obsess on! Include me out, next time. Thanks. Love, peace."


I'm not going to comment, but I'd love to hear yours if you have one.

Now, on to some good news. Watermelon Sushi's Associate Producer Derrick Holmes, who lives in Tokyo, has officially joined our team. He's created a page on the Japanese social networking site, mixi, so if you live in Japan, please check us out.

As for the NHK taiga series, Atsuhime, it's now down to the last few episodes. The poor mother of the shogun (by default because Atsuhime's shogun husband died leaving a chosen, adult heir) is facing an uphill battle. The Emperor's sister has been ordered to marry the shogun to show unity against foreigners in the country. But Atsuhime grieves upon learning that the sister already has a fiancee she'll have to dump. "Women are always used as political tools," Atsuhime, bathed in tears, tells her court. But previews of the next episode shows that the Emperor's sister will spurn Atsuhime's empathetic friendship.

Hey, if you're looking for a unique holiday gift, remember Hapa*Teez t-shirts for our special community members. Very soon now, new designs will be posted. So, avoid the rush and order several now. Every purchase of a Hapa*Teez t-shirt will go towards financing the Watermelon Sushi film, and every purchaser will receive a rear crawl credit. Just drop me a line to let me know that you bought one.

It's apropos that we close as we opened--with talk about mutts! Above, is a pix of Associate Producer Derrick Holmes posing as one.

Until next week, I remain...

Your Hip Hapa Mutt,

Bow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippee Yay!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Arf! When Will The One Drop Rule Cease?!?

Okay, hip hapa homeez, I'm still recovering from film festival festivities so I'll just leave you with this thought tonight.

After a friend alerted me to the link below (thanks, Kahlil!),

I read the story with a shake of my head. Evidently, our new hip hapa homee prez recently referred to himself as a "mutt". I know a lot of you do that, too. But my question to AP reporter Alan Fram is this: Dude, can you not do the math?

Here is a direct quote from his article:

"By now, almost everyone knows that Obama's mother was white and father was black, putting him on track to become the nation's first African-American president."

Besides hyphenating African American (does anyone still do that?), reporter Fram obviously struggles with elementary mathematics. In case you missed it, let me run that by you again:

"...mother was white and father was black...the nation's first African-American president."

If being half white and half black equals one African American then why doesn't half white and half black equal one Caucasian? 'nuff said. I'm off to Hapawood where hip hapa homeez rule!

Oh, yeah. Now that's a real mutt in the pix above.

Your Hip Hapa,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Back Soon

Since I'm currently covering the American Film Institute Film Festival and American Film Market for, I'll keep this week's blog short and sweet.

Hey! Can I get a big up to the voters who put our first HIP HAPA HOMEE in the White House?!?

I'll be back next week with more hip hapa news. Meanwhile, check out this pix of me covering my first Pan African Film and Arts Festival for Film Festival Today when it was a mere magazine--many moons ago.

Your Hip Hapa,