Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Talented, Memory Maker: Miyako

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez.

Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

pretty pink origami and Miyako-san
Your Hip Hapa wishes you a HAPA holiday season--no matter how you choose to celebrate. And, to help you get into a festive mood, meet our featured Hip Hapa Homee for this issue, Miyako Akina Fuqua. You may recall that we interviewed her along with her sister, Sakura, four years ago here:

Since then, Miyako has accomplished so much in her mixed-race world, we thought we’d give you an update:

Q: Miyako-san, do you feel any differently about your Japanese/African American identity since your 2010 interview?

A: A lot has happened since then! Since the last interview, I moved to L.A. One of my observations is that people's ideas of being "biracial" differ whether you live in a big city or a college town. Although my hometown was one of the more liberal towns in Indiana, I felt like I had to justify who I was, whereas in a city you can be whoever you want to be. Don't get me wrong. I love my hometown! But I felt boxed in sometimes because my identity was also associated with my middle school, high school, AND college experience.

Q: Tell us about your film, Barcode 

A: Barcode Man is about an atomic bomb survivor who struggles to forget his tragic past until he meets a student who not only gives him the power to move forward with his life, but to create new memories. 

In college, I was always interested in the politics of WWII, atomic bomb literature and the humanity of the aftermath of the bombing. I wanted to write a story where "new, modern, contemporary" Japan meets and collides with "old, traditional" Japan. It was fun writing two characters from different generations who share a space and grow together. I've also always wanted to see a Harajuku girl in a movie! 

Last year, around this time, Barcode Man won Best Screenplay during the Monaco International Film Festival for the Angel Film Awards. In August, I found out that it progressed to the second round for the 2015 Sundance Screenwriting Labs held in January. I'll find out the results in a couple weeks. 

fabric origami
Q: What’s your new art project about?

A: I decided to start a small business making origami and felt fabric fashion/hair accessories! I've always folded and made things as a hobby growing up, and decided that this was something that I could pursue professionally. 

I wanted to find a way to relive my memories from Japan and Okinawa, focusing on culture, the vibrant sounds, food, and scenery (a lot of my work is inspired by nostalgia). The colors and designs I chose are names of foods I enjoyed as a kid and appreciate more as an adult, like: Mochi, Melon Float, Ramune, Japanese Red Bean, and Japanese Persimmon! 

Here are some links:

origami accessories

Miyako-san in origami

What a way to celebrate the holidays, Hip Hapa Homeez. Please take some time to check out these links, too:

Watermelon Sushi film

Watermelon Sushi on Facebook

Hapa*Teez on YouTube

Hapa*Teez on Facebook

Hapa*Teez on Café Press

War Brides of Japan v.2 on YouTube

War Brides of Japan on YouTube

War Brides of Japan on Facebook

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

Sexy Voices of Hollywood


Until next year and February 4, I will remain…

Your Hip Hapa,