Saturday, December 31, 2022

A New Year, A New Logo, A New (Old) Film

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!


Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! Akemashite Omedettou Gozaimasu! 



Best wishes for the happiest of new years to all of our loyal fans.


In our last post, we mentioned having an executive producer onboard to help complete Watermelon Sushi—first shot in 1998. Arrigatou! to the fabulous filmmaker Doug Ing for having our old footage digitized for easy editing.





Since Watermelon Sushi was not completed the first time (and the performers are now more than 20 years older), we will create an animated version of it. The story is still the same; still about two mixed-race sisters framed by nostalgic 1980’s rap and hip hop.



Please stay tuned as we produce a new logo in the next few weeks that will spearhead our crowdfunding efforts.



Speaking of new logos, we’re also working on another film, Tokyo Lily, which is a biopic of a Japanese war bride who married a Black American soldier and moved to segregated Texas in the 1950’s. Eventually, her family settled in another state where she studied traditional Japanese dance (playing male roles), became a painter and wrote haiku.


Additionally, we will have a graphic novel about the same bride titled, Lily Wisteria



Meanwhile, please subscribe to our two Youtube channels:

Watermelon Sushi


War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory


You can also view the 5 War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory films on Gumroad:


Gumroad


For more detailed information, please visit our main websites:


Starwheels

Watermelon Sushi

War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory















Here’s to peace and prosperity in 2023!

Your Hip Hapa,


Yayoi

Friday, September 30, 2022

Falling Forward

 Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

Here we are again, preparing for Fall. But the darker days and longer nights are actually a blessing. It will keep us in our studio where we will spend more time working on our creative endeavors.


For one, Watermelon Sushi (the movie) now has an Executive Producer. In the posts to come, we will name that person and the work they are doing for our film. Soon, we’ll be starting our fundraising campaign!


Yayoi introduces her family 


We also have our yet untitled documentary and graphic novel about a Japanese war bride artist. 


a war bride and an artist

And, we’ll be licensing artwork for both films in the very near future.


Have you stayed updated on our two Youtube channels?


Watermelon Sushi


War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory


While you’re there, please subscribe. 


You can also view the 5 War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory films on Gumroad:


Gumroad


Finally, here are the links to our films’ main websites:


Starwheels

Watermelon Sushi

War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory


As always, we’re open to interviewing mixed-race, multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial folks who are making a difference. Please drop us a line!


Meanwhile, our deepest mahalo to you—our fans since 2006—for your continuing support.


Have a beautiful autumn!


Your Hip Hapa, 


Yayoi


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Summer Sun and Fun

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez

HAPA sunshine! 

cocktail, anyone?
Summer is here, but we won’t be lazing around in the sun sipping on a Watermelon Sushi cocktail, or munching on Watermelon and Sushi salad either. 

Nope. We're going to be too busy creating content for you, our mixie friends. 

First off, we have finally completed our short film, Native Vegan. This project was funded by a grant via VeganFlix Studios, and we are eternally grateful for that. 

You’ll be able to view it at our Watermelon Sushi Youtube channel, once it’s posted early next month:








or watermelon sushi salad?


While you’re on Youtube, please check out our War Brides of Japan channel, too:


The 5 films that make up the series are currently available for (cheap) rent on Gumroad:


Finally, we have onboard an executive producer for the narrative, Watermelon Sushi. This film is about you and me, Dear Hip Hapa, so please stay in touch. 

You can see our updates at our website: https://www.watermelonsushi.com 

And, at our Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/watermelonsushi/ 


We can’t thank you enough, our devoted supporters, for your financial and spiritual encouragement throughout these decades! 

cool rules!

Watermelon Sushi, the movie

We also have other projects on our plate, like the story of a Japanese war bride artist which will be both a documentary film and a graphic novel. 



And, we’re in talks with a producer for a documentary film about the enslavement of African people in the U.S. Please enjoy your multi-culti summer, and drop us a line if you or someone you know would like to be featured on our next blog post. We’re always looking to write about interesting mixies like yourself. 

See you again this Fall. Meanwhile, stay cool because cool rules! 

Your Hip Hapa, 

Yayoi



Thursday, March 31, 2022

HAPA Spring N2 Action!

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!


Here were are, already at the end of the first quarter of 2022. How’s it going so far in your multicultural world?


Your Hip Hapa with Watermelon Sushi

For us at Watermelon Sushi World, it’s been a time of turning out projects like crazy!


In honor of Women’s History Herstory Month, Your Hip Hapa was invited to participate in an art exhibit called 'Herstory'. A month-long event at Arts at Mark’s Garage in Chinatown, Honolulu, O’ahu, the exhibit showed off the work of women artists and their powerful visions of women. A fun time was had by all!



Your Hip Hapa's "Herstory: Rice 2 Space" artwork, bottom right

As you can see, Your Hip Hapa’s artwork included a portrait of a hapa woman who rises from being a baby on her mother’s back (a traditional Japanese woman cooking rice) to becoming an astronaut. Stay tuned for a whole series of NFT’s based on this subject matter.


Meanwhile, the ‘War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory’ series is now available for viewing on Gumroad.


Check out these links:


https://watermelonsushi.gumroad.com/l/HERSTORY


https://watermelonsushi.gumroad.com/l/theBRIDES


https://watermelonsushi.gumroad.com/l/theKIDS


https://watermelonsushi.gumroad.com/l/theCULTURE


https://watermelonsushi.gumroad.com/l/BUDDHISTFRIENDSFOREVER


Additionally, we’re surging forward with two films and three books. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted about their statuses.


Do drop us a line if you’re someone who has something to say about being a part of our mixed race world. We love doing interviews with people like you.



HAPA SPRING!


Your Hip Hapa,




Yayoi



Friday, December 31, 2021

HAPA New Year!

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

a hip hapa homee
Akemashite Omedettou Gozaimasu! Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

Hey, hip hapa homee, what are your New Year’s resolutions? Are any of them centered around issues of importance to BIPOC and, especially, us mixies?




















Since Your Hip Hapa began this blog in 2006 (and really moved forward with it in 2008), so much has changed in our Watermelon Sushi World.


In the old days, we rarely saw any outed multiracial images onscreen, in books, or anywhere public. There may have been actors who were mixed in real life, but they were often forced to play mono-racial characters. Except for a few pioneering films that addressed the issue of being mixed, the topic was mostly ignored.


Watermelon Sushi the Movie by B.R. Winfrey

But 2008 brought a biracial president of the U.S. into the public arena. Although he was “one-dropped” by most media, he also quietly stood apart from issues of ethnic identity. Despite having a white mother, Obama was considered to be a black man by the majority, and he went with it.


Still, there has been so much progress on the planet in the 15 years that we’ve been publishing this blog. We can hardly wait to see what’s coming next. Maybe soon, we might even stop writing this blog because, hopefully, the world will reach a point where there will be no reason to bring light to BIPOC and mixie-related topics.


featured family in Watermelon Sushi the Movie

Meanwhile, our goal for 2022 is to produce two films. One is in homage to a Japanese war bride married to an African American soldier. Her fantastic life includes her work as an artist, dancer, chef, and so much more.


Our second film is also a documentary. With major “arrigatous” and “mahalos” to VeganFlix for their generous grant, we are producing a short about Indigenous who were likely vegan before being colonized.


Here’s our VeganFlix interview:


https://veganflix.com/interview-with-2021-veganflix-video-seed-grant-recipient-yayoi-l-winfrey/


Additionally, we’re finally releasing some of our fiction. One will be a collection of short stories all featuring BIPOC, multicultural, mixed-race and interracially involved characters. Another is a novel about a multi-generational mixed-race family living in the Caribbean in the midst of race-based political turmoil.


2022 promises excitement, so please stay tuned!


Watermelon Sushi Youtube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/c/WatermelonSushi/featured


www.watermelonsushi.com


War Brides of Japan Youtube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPemluw0stoTsx8yvz2tCrg


www.warbridesofjapan.com



making War Brides of Japan



dir. Yayoi with war bride daughter, Diana Portugal


dir. Yayoi with war bride daughter, Roleta

dir. Yayoi with war bride daughter, Yoshi


Starwheels Productions website:


https://yourhiphapa.wixsite.com/starwheels


HAPA New Year to you!


Your Hip Hapa,


Yayoi




Thursday, September 30, 2021

All Around The World

 Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

Your Hip Hapa
In case you didn’t know, September 21 was the ‘United Nations International Day of Peace’. In celebration of such a lovely thought, Your Hip Hapa created a music video featuring rapper One Sir Grove. Both of us used to co-host an internet show called ‘Sexy Voices of Hollywood’ and in the video, we pay homage to it.

The music video features a rap song celebrating the differences among us world citizens, from every background, from every culture, from every part of the planet. We all do live here together, after all.


Please enjoy 'All Around the World'!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoAIF64hP5o


And, please subscribe to our Youtube Watermelon Sushi channel if you like:


https://www.youtube.com/c/WatermelonSushi/featured


We also have our War Brides of Japan Youtube channel:


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPemluw0stoTsx8yvz2tCrg/featured


Here at Starwheels Productions, we’re currently working on two films with a multi-cult perspective.


https://yourhiphapa.wixsite.com/starwheels


One is titled 'Native Vegan'. It’s a documentary about the Indigenous of North America who have been reportedly vegan before colonization. With thanks to VeganFlix for presenting us with a seed grant, we plan to release the film by summer of 2022. Right now, we’re creating a short, or Proof of Concept, so please stay tuned to our Youtube Watermelon Sushi channel for updates.


Our second project has been worked on for years now, but has taken a new route. This will be both a graphic novel and a documentary about a war bride who was also an artist. If you’ve had the chance to view the Vincent van Gogh immersive this year, then this is close to the style we hope to achieve in displaying her artwork.


cafe au lait avec fluer by Yuriko


bratty catty by Yuriko


For updates, please check out our Youtube War Brides of Japan channel as we will be posting shorts, or Proof of Concept videos, soon.

Meanwhile, we are back to our format of interviewing mixed-race community leaders as well as anyone who is in an interracial relationship, a transracial adoptee, or crosses cultures. If you fit any of those categories, please drop us a line:


yourhiphapa@me.com


Your Hip Hapa,


Yayoi








Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What Is Watermelon Sushi?

 Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

Welcome back to Watermelon Sushi World. 

BTW, what does Watermelon Sushi mean anyway? I get asked that question a lot. 


Actually, Watermelon Sushi is the title of the film we began some 20 years ago in Los Angeles.


Watermelon, of course, is probably the most stereotyped food that's applied to black people in the U.S. And, sushi, to those of Japanese ancestry.


Over the years, many mixies began using different foods served in their households to describe their experiences of being multi-cultural. But when we first began referring to Watermelon Sushi in 1998, a lot of folks thought we were funny and strange.


In the Watermelon Sushi script, the mother is a Japanese national and the father, African American.

When we began the film in 1998, hardly anyone outside of California (and Japan) even knew what sushi was.


But in our family, it was common to have both foods on the table, especially during summers when we loved munching on ice cold watermelon after finishing a meal of norimaki and inarizushi.


In Japan, the word for watermelon is suica, which is also the name of their rail pass. Why, we're not sure.


So, yes, Watermelon Sushi is loosely based on my life as a Japanese and black female.

While we were unable to finish the film, over the years I’ve received so many messages from fans all around the world urging us to complete this important work about the mixed-race experience. Your wishes are at my command!


Finally, we are at the point in independent filmmaking where movies can be made without having to raise huge budgets through outside investors. So, watch for us in the next few months as we launch some innovative and creative ways to finance Watermelon Sushi. There will be non-donor based investment opportunities for everyone!






























Please be patient as we update our websites and revamp our line of Hapa*Teez t-shirts throughout this summer.





We've also begun adding our numerous film festival awards from two other projects to some of our social media sites:

War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory (5-part series)


and


Chickens Playing Chicken (1-minute animated short)


Because this is a quarterly blog, you’ll likely find the latest info about Watermelon Sushi at the following links, especially once they’ve been updated:


Watermelon Sushi website


Watermelon Sushi on Facebook


Watermelon Sushi on Twitter


Hapa*Teez on Facebook


Lena Starwheels website


Until we meet again on September 30, I am happy to be




Your Hip Hapa,


Yayoi