Intermarriage and being mixed race

I’m a mixed race yonsei living in Alberta. My dad is Japanese, my mom is white. They were married in the mid eighties, and it was not agreeable to my dad’s parents.  As an adult I became involved with the local JC community. At a pan-American conference for JC communities in 2019, the issue of intermarriage came up. It was framed as a problem, like, how to stop or curb it. But that would mean, there wouldn’t be mixed race children, which meant…was I a problem? Was I a second choice? Was my community work half as valuable? I encouraged my local association to focus on the true problem at hand, loss of culture, which is a large problem particularly in the prairie provinces. At my age, I am craving to learn about my culture, I wish it hadn’t been lost in my family, and I wouldn’t wish it to happen to children now. It would be very positive to reinvigorate JC culture in new families. If that’s not the problem, and actually the problem is loss of “pure” Japanese families, then that is not an agenda I am interested to pursue, and I find it very problematic.

Carley Okamura

View posts by Carley Okamura
I am a yonsei living in Edmonton, Alberta, which is where I grew up. I have played Japanese drums (taiko) for 20 years, and am involved with the local EJCA.
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