We were raised in happy, fulfilling families with one Japanese and one foreign parent. We are nothing special or extraordinary beings, yet we get labeled as hafu (ハーフ) in this country. Many multiracial kids have experienced racial discrimination only due to their ethnicity background. This confuses me, since although we are complimented for our looks with “foreign” features genetically passed on from our parent, why did we experience bullying?
Given the fact that there are many hafu kids in YIS, I wish to share the fact that many have bitter experiences from the past which actually helped them be stronger individuals with positive mindsets.
I think racial discrimination is a selfish act people take towards other people. Giving cruel treatments to others just by their race is very harsh and I think people should realize whatever people say about them, they should feel proud and not get unhappy. Marina, Grade 10
I personally prefer the environment that international schools offer because there are students from all over the world that gather there with mixed cultures and I can relate or have more in common with my friends from there. But I do think there was a benefit from going to a Japanese public school for the first 5 years because I was able to learn the Japanese culture and language and some things that international schools don’t teach. Sophie, Grade 11
Yes, I have experienced discrimination, and because I was a mixed race in the Japanese schools. Although it was very mild because I was in japan all my life, and other than my looks, I was very much a Japanese. But there were racist people in the Japanese schools because Japan is such a closed country in a way, where the majority of the people are Japanese. Also since we were so young, I feel like the kids are not educated about other races at that point of their school life. I believe that played a big role in that. I recently went to an Interact Club meeting, where I was the only person out of over 100 people who was a mixed race. There I was treated completely fine, with no such thing as discrimination. Nigel, Grade 11
I’m just gonna be blunt that yes when people try to encourage you by saying that ‘oh these people just bully you because they’re jealous’ or ‘They’re just bullying you because they secretly like you’ whether that’s true or not it doesn’t help, you still feel hurt, they’re still bullying you, and at the end of the day you still feel like scum while they look down at you. So I guess my positive advice is: when you’re in a situation like this, get out of the toxic environment and find somewhere that accepts you for who you are. I know some people will say ‘you’re just running away from the problem’ or ‘you need to face your problems’ but the people who say that aren’t aware of the extent of the problem or the root of the problem. These people are bullying you because they have a problem with you, you didn’t instigate anything, you didn’t try to be in this problem, and in the end of the day you can’t convince everyone not to be racist especially in an environment where people encourage it. So do not think you’re running away from a problem, what you are doing is making your life healthier and learning not to be ashamed of something that should be celebrated. Aruna, Grade 11
I have witnessed my closest friends also be tormented for their looks and their nationality and usually, they just shake it off, or even make fun of themselves and turn it into a joke. Although, there have been times where my friends would change themselves to look a certain way, usually after being told that that part of themselves was “ugly” or “unconventional.” For example, one of my friends had thick, big, bushy hair. She was made fun constantly for it and so one day, she came to school and her hair had been permed straight. Niki, Grade 10
I think lot of people tend to stereotype people subconsciously without realizing that the things they say at times are rude and hurtful. I try not to say anything because I know they don’t mean what they say in a bad way however I just wish that people will start to understand more of our cultures so this won’t happen. Lilac, Grade 10
Lea K, Grade 10, Regular Contributor