Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Beautiful, Brave, Bodacious And Bad-Ass: War Brides of Japan

Chi’z, hip hapa homeez!

A good friend from Japan who’s been teaching me the language told me the hip greeting for konnichi-wa is simply “chi’zzz” (cheese) as in chi-wa as in nichi-wa as in konnichi-wa. Clever, huh?

Another Japanese national I recently met told me the hip word to describe what was trending in Japan is “now-ee”. Japan has sure changed a lot since my Mom left it.

Asako Sakaguchi and Phillip Miller  
Speaking of, there’s lots of news to share about our ongoing War Brides of Japan documentary project. For one, we've released a preproduction trailer that shares a little history about Japanese war brides. Here it is:

Even though we haven’t officially launched our crowdfunding campaign yet, we’ve already received our very first donation. Thank you, Global Music Awards!

Further, our donor also donated a video camera complete with accessories! So, now we’re in the process of scheduling interviews with both war brides and/or their adult children. Stay tuned here for updates, or else at our Facebook Fan page:

Our website should be up and running by next week.

Teruko Nishina and Roland Franklin Stead, Jr.
Here’s our tag line:

…beautifully brave Japanese women who married American military men after WWII were called “war brides”—although contrary to that label, they didn’t marry a war but instead expressed their unconditional love by marrying “the enemy”…

Every single Japanese war bride entered into an interracial marriage. Following Japan’s surrender in WWII, it became occupied by American armed forces made up of either black or white men. Since interracial marriage was still banned in 16 states, some war brides took a big risk being with their own mates.

Besides struggling with cultural and language barriers, brave war brides also had to endure the hostility of some Americans once they moved to the U.S. with their husbands. Both black and white Americans blamed them for starting WWII because Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. No matter that these women were innocent civilians and helpless to challenge their own government about its war agenda.

Harue Abiru and Charles William Lahn
Not only did war brides leave behind their families (some who disowned them for "marrying the enemy"), but they also moved to a country they’d never seen before with men that had only years earlier might have helped destroy theirs.

Each war bride from Japan has her own unique story, and we hope to tell as many as we can in this documentary.

Here are links to slideshows we've created in the past, including one that placed among the top three entries in the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2012 (although it was later disqualified for using the One True Media app):

Come along with us, Hip Hapa Homeez, on this amazing journey to honor these beautiful, brave, bodacious, bad-ass War Brides of Japan!

Yasue Hayakawa and Rev. Williams
with daughters
And, remember, we still have our feature narrative, Watermelon Sushi, to complete so please support our pages.

Yayoi Lena Winfrey fan page on Facebook (sorry, but Your Hip Hapa can’t add any more friends to her regular profile page)

We also have our Hip Hapa Homeez group on Facebook where members post articles about being bicultural, biracial, transracially adopted, from a blended family or part of an interracial couple.

See you next bi-month for more about the War Brides of Japan.

Your Hip Hapa,


Yuriko Naito and A.W. Winfrey
with daughters