October 9, 2005

Living as a 'half': What it's like to be of mixed race in Japan

Trapped in a culturally ambiguous haafu land, I find kindred spirits in people who have grown up as immigrants or so-called "kikoku shijo" -- Japanese partially raised abroad who don't carry an ounce of foreign blood, yet are marginalized once they return.

Still, the fact that such people exist in Japan means there's an end in sight -- the makeup of the country is changing.

Many here believe that Japan, with its rapidly graying population, has no choice but to open its doors to a massive influx of foreign labor within the next couple of decades. Japanese society will doubtless endure some painful teething. But, frankly, I can't wait.


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