Directed by Megumi Nishikura and Lara Takagi Perez, HAFU follows the lives of five “hafus” – the Japanese term for people who are half-Japanese – as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in a country that once proudly proclaimed itself as a mono-ethnic nation.
With the ever increasing movement of people between places in this transnational age, there is an increasing number of mixed-race individuals in Japan – some visible, others not. “Hafu” is the unfolding journey of discovery into the intricacies of mixed-race Japanese and their multicultural experience in modern day Japan. For some of these hafu, Japan is the only home they know, for others, living in Japan is an entirely new experience, and others still are caught somewhere between two different worlds.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one in forty-nine babies born in Japan today are born into families with one non-Japanese parent. This newly emerging minority in Japan is under-documented and under-explored in both literature and media. The ﬁlm explores race, diversity, multiculturalism, nationality, and identity within the mixed-race community of Japan. And through this exploration, it seeks to answer the following questions: what does it mean to be hafu, what does it mean to be Japanese, and ultimately, what does all of this mean for the once self-proclaimed mono-ethnic Japan?
Narrated by hafu themselves, along with candid interviews and cinéma vérité footage, the viewer is guided through a myriad of hafu experiences that are influenced by upbringing, family relationships, education, and even physical appearance. As the film interweaves five unique life stories, audiences discover the depth and diversity of hafu personal identities.
Starring David Yano, Sophia Fukunishi and Edward Sumoto
Director Lara Takagi-Perez will join us for the screening to discuss her film and meet the audience at an informal reception following the screening.
Date: Saturday July 26, 2014
Admission: JCCC members $8, non-members $10