Who is your daughter’s father?

10132013-Hakone_753-2Itoko Richardson,
Daly City, CA.

I am Japanese and my husband is Black (he extremely dislikes to be called African-American). Our experience alone was interesting and filled with many racist, stereotype encounters and reactions. But my experience with my daughter is interesting. When I and my daughter are out, I can feel strangers’ wonder of who & what she is. My daughter is beautiful and I get that compliments time to time. But such a simple compliment is to ask real question for many people, “She is so pretty. What is she?”, “Is this your daughter? She is beautiful. What she is mixed with?”. So interestingly, it does not happen as often as to my husband & daughter when they are out. He said it is because he is Black. He means that people who ask our daughter’s source of race wants to know if she is mixed with Black. So I answered that I am married to an American. Sure enough, I was asked what kind of American I am married to.

Our experience in Japan is totally different. In the homogeneous society, every Japanese knows she is mixed when he/she sees her. So being mixed with Black or White isn’t something for them to concern about. It seems to me that people of Japan wanted to see if I embedded Japanese (Soul of Japanese) in her because Japanese blood runs in my daughter. They showed somewhat happiness when she ate natto (fermented soy bean), spoke Japanese, sang Japanese songs, used chop-sticks, believes in Buddhism, or celebrated our traditions. So I am working hard to engage in Japanese cultural traditions more than I ever cared to do. Partly I do not want to be looked as failed Japanese. But mostly, I want her to have more cards on her hand, cards of being Japanese.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

3 Responses to "Who is your daughter’s father?"
  1. realktalk says:

    Real Talk: From experience, bi-racial are pretty much the target of bullying in middle school and high school where if your daughter does not fit into the African American group or the African American culture, then she will get bullied. By African American culture I mean Black students that have saggy pants, listen to rap, and talk really ghetto. However, in the Asian group, they will be most likely accepting. Your daughter will face stereotypes for years to come when you are not with her. If you really wanted more cards of being Japanese or have a Japanese soul, why did you not marry a honest Japanese man? Obviously, you disrespected your husband by writing this post since you want your daughter to be more Japanese than Black. Sorry, genetics does not work that way. I also can probably infer that you are extremely worried about the future of your daughter and how society view her. Honestly, you should stop having a negative outlook. This will all be just a phase in your daughter’s life. Your sole responsibility is to guide her and help her how to deal with it. When this phase is over and your daughter is in college, there will no longer be any stereotypes. Even better, your daughter will know how to respond to stereotypes, but how would she do that? This is up to you.


  2. Raykel White says:

    Your daughter is absolutely beautiful and I think it’s wonderful you want to immerse her in your culture. In the end love is the most important thing for a kid and as a mixed race child I think she’s so lucky to have access to two very diverse cultures! Your concern for your daughter speaks volumes and she’s lucky to have you as a mother. 😀

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