Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez.
Welcome back to Watermelon Sushi World where we inform and update you about the latest haps in our multi-culti, mixed-race universe.
Remember, you can join our discussions about biracial, blended, hapa, international, interracial, mestizo, mixed race, multicultural, and/or transracially adopted topics by requesting membership in our now Closed Group—Hip Hapa Homeez--on Facebook. You do not have to be a person with a mixed-race heritage, just someone who cares to contribute to our ongoing talks.
And, while you’re there on Facebook, please do us the honor of liking our Watermelon Sushi and War Brides of Japan fan pages—two in-progress films we’re producing. For a list of other sites you can like to support us, check out the end of this blog.
This month’s featured Hip Hapa Homee may shock you by his frank opinions on Asian, and in particular Japanese, women. Some have called it SEX-PLOITATION, but until you’ve read his book (Black Passenger Yellow Cabs), perhaps you shouldn’t—ahem--judge it by its cover. Anyway, let’s let author Stefhen Bryan tell it:
Q: Stefhen, what’s your ethnic background?
A: I'm from Jamaica. As you may or may not know, Jamaica is an island mostly of descendants of African slaves. Hence, I am a Jamaican Negro.
Q: What was it like growing up there?
A: 95% of the population in Jamaica is of Negro African descent. The other 5% is South Asian (Indian), East Asian (Chinese), European and Middle Eastern (Syrian) descent. Though the Chinese were a small minority, they owned all the shops and haberdasheries. So, yellow Asians became my economic role model from early childhood; and, I decided from then that my wife would be yellow, too.
Q: What was your impetus for moving to Japan and when did you go?
A: I figured if I liked "rice", I should be in a rice field. Why be in a potato patch when I like rice? So, I moved to Japan from California on Wednesday April 18, 2001.
Q: What motivated you to write Black Passenger Yellow Cabs: Of Exile and Excess in Japan?
A: As an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher), I had tons of time on my hands and I wanted to write about this amazingly novel experience I was having in my newfound home.
Q: What's it like for you living in Japan now, compared to a dozen years ago? Is there more or less acceptance of gaijin (foreign people)?
A: When I first arrived, there were only 1 million foreigners and not many people spoke English. Now, there are about 2.5 million foreigners and more people speaking English. I still get stares, but not as much as I did a decade ago.
Q: Being married to a Japanese woman, you must have some thoughts about how interracial couples fare in Japan. Can you share?
A: I think interracial couples and children in Japan experience far less stress than they did 10 years ago. It’s not perfect, but I think in many cases the kids are glorified as kakkoii (good looking, cool).
Q: What are some mixed-race, interracial and cross-cultural projects you're working on now?
A: Actually, my wife and I are currently temporarily in the U.S., as she was accepted to a graduate law program at the University of Southern California a few years ago, and I embarked on a book tour. Since being in the U.S., I've written a second book, Only Begotten, and a solo play, Doodu Boy, which is partly based on Black Passenger Yellow Cabs. Doodu Boy debuted in Los Angeles on August 23, and is being translated to Japanese for me to perform when I get back home to Japan next spring.
Here are the links to my new book and the solo play fan page on Facebook.
Domo arrigatou gozaimasu, Stefhen. Hey, Hip Hapa Homeez, drop us a line if you’d like to be featured here on Watermelon Sushi World. And, please check out the links below.
Ja, mata ne?
Your Hip Hapa,
Mahalo Hapa*Teez fans (left to right): Cassie, Teri, Robert, Ejiro, Carol, Eva and Julia.