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

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mixed Messages

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez
 
Sarah with her son Malcolm

Lucky us, we’re back to interviewing intriguing Hip Hapa Homeez. In this blog post, we’re featuring the fabulous Sarah Doneghy who hosts her own shows discussing the plight of us multi-cultis. 

You can watch her “Mixed Messages Show” at: https://youtu.be/pbQwx_I-WX8

Sarah also has her “Mixed Nut One Person Show” at: https://youtu.be/AhZBMyMxLKo 











Q: Sarah, please discuss your parents’ backgrounds and how they met. 

A: My Dad is black, my Mom is white. My Dad is American, my Mom is English. My Dad is Muslim, my Mom is Catholic. They met when my Dad was traveling around the world on his bicycle. The people he was staying with in Germany knew a place he could stay in England. One of the people living at that place in England was my Mom. That’s how they met.   

Sarah's mum
Sarah's dad



Q: What was it like growing up in West Virginia? 

A: A few months ago I looked up, “Most racist state in America”. The answer was, “West Virginia”. Growing up, there weren’t very many black families, and we were the only mixed-race family. There was a lot of racism. 

The first time I was called the n-word I was seven. I got bullied in school a lot. I remember when I was a teenager being kicked out of people’s houses because I was black or, “colored” or, of course, the n-word. Then there were friends who would ask me to lie to their parents and tell them I was Native American or “anything but black”. 

My first One Person Show, “Mixed Nut” was a coming-of-identity story. I talked a lot about what growing up in West Virginia was like in that.   

Q: Do you think mixed-race issues are any different now, 54 years after Loving v. Virginia? 

A: That’s what I’m trying to discover. My Dad grew up in segregation in West Virginia. He was the first black student to attend a desegregated school there. The stories he’s told me about the racism he’s received are absolutely horrible and heartbreaking. I don’t know how he survived it. 

The racism I experienced growing up is definitely different than what he did. I think one of the issues that has changed is that people have more freedom in how they choose to identify. There’s more language now for people who are more than one race. They don’t have to choose one race and they also can.   

It’s hard to know what is meant by “mixed-race issues”. There are so many mixes of so many different races. I’m not sure if there are mixed-race issues as a whole. I think racism, at least in America, is a big commonality when it comes to what we’ve experienced. But again, that’s what I want to find out.   

I don’t know how this issue has changed, but I think every mixed-race person has a coming-of-identity story. They see that their families look different from them and different from each other depending on the situation. There’s always the “Where do I fit in” journey. I think we all have had to ask, “What are you?” of ourselves.   

Q: Since you’re both black and white, but ethnically ambiguous, what are the most shocking things you’ve heard either race group say about the opposite? 

A: I dealt with so much racism early in life that I’ve never really been shocked by what people have said not knowing that I’m mixed-race. I’ve been more shocked by what people have said around me even though they do know I’m black mixed. 

Something happened a few years ago that I am still angry about and hurt over. It was the day of the eclipse and I was hanging out with two white friends—a guy and a girl. These are people I had known for a while. The girl was complaining about a kid she worked with and then called him a “n*gger”. “What?!” I was stunned. I really couldn’t believe what I had heard and then she doubled down. Yeah. That was indeed what she said. I went off on her. “How could you say that? What is wrong with you? You know I’m black!” 

Meanwhile, the guy didn’t say anything. He stayed completely silent. When I confronted him about his silence he said, “She made a mistake. That’s all.” That right there shocked the hell out of me. He got mad at me when I called her a racist. I was the one that was overreacting. I had offended him. And these are people saying, “Black Lives Matter” and “F*ck Trump”. They don’t even see their hypocrisy—their racism—and don’t want to. I haven’t spoken to either of them since.   

Q: Why did you create your show, Mixed Messages, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?   

A: I made this show first and foremost for us. I wanted to create a space for us to have these discussions. These are conversations that need to be had and stories that need to be told. I think it’s important for people to know about mixed-race experiences. People need to hear from us and we need to hear from each other. There are so many similarities as well as so many differences. I am really interested in people’s stories. I’ve learned so much already. 

Sarah with her sister
Sarah with her brother




















In the first episode, Marcus talks about how his mom is racist. I didn’t know how common that was in mixed-race families until people wrote me saying how much they related to that. I’m privileged in that I never had to deal with that in my family. Marcus facing racism in his home was one of the things a lot of viewers couldn’t believe and, sadly, so many could. 

Sarah with her brother
I’m really excited to meet new people and hear different narratives. There’s something about getting together with someone and knowing that you don’t have to explain things. We already know. We’ve all been on a racial identity journey. And it’s often one we continue to travel. That’s unique to us. Every mixed-race person has the racial identity discovery story. I think it’s fascinating and fantastic. I want to hear as many of these as possible.   

If you are interested in being a guest on Mixed Messages, or have a topic you’d like to see discussed, please email Sarah at: mixedmessagestheshow@gmail.com 

And, don’t forget to watch: 

Mixed Messages Show: https://youtu.be/pbQwx_I-WX8 

Mixed Nut One Person Show: https://youtu.be/AhZBMyMxLKo 

Meanwhile, Hip Hapa Homeez, we’ve been struggling to keep our websites updated. As you may know, our “War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory” 5-part series is currently on hiatus. But there are numerous trailers and interviews you can watch on Vimeo and Youtube. 

Here are our top performing websites: 

Until June 30, I am very much 



Your Hip Hapa, 

Yayoi

Thursday, December 31, 2020

New World Vibes: Mixies Everywhere!

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

watermelon
It seems like mixed-race people are much more prominent these days with so many from our community thrust into the spotlight.

Besides tennis player Naomi Osaka, who is Japanese Haitian American, there are new mixed-race families being created—like (another) tennis player Serena Williams and her husband German Armenian American Alexis Ohanian producing their daughter, Olympia.


There’s even a mixed-race marriage within England’s royal family—Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.


And, so on. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to the point where no one will care who anyone else marries and/or has children with.


watermelon sushi

Hopefully, this new world vibe will lead us towards getting our film “Watermelon Sushi” onto the movie screen. In any case, we’re planning to fundraise for it in 2021.


Meanwhile, we’re also working on an (as yet) untitled "docu*memory" about Japanese war bride and artist Yuriko, as well as a graphic novel about her life. Here’s Yuriko’s website along with her quarterly blog.


iam aristyuriko


heartwork by yuriko


For more about “Watermelon Sushi”, check us out at:


www.watermelonsushi.com


https://www.facebook.com/watermelonsushi/


https://twitter.com/watermelonsushi


https://vimeo.com/watermelonsushi/videos


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSuiAGml-IAM5lQjaEmk-lQ


https://www.pinterest.


And, please send us cards and letters to let us know how you’re doing in 2021!


Akemashite Omedettou Gozaimasu and Hau’okli Makahiki Hou!

















See you on March 31.


Your Hip Hapa,


Yayoi