Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Now Showing in Theaters: うまれつき (Born With It)

A Black-Japanese student enters a Japanese school.  The Japanese students are amazed, curious, condescending, afraid, finding ways to make him outcast.

This Short Film, written and directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr., shines a lens onto a small town, and gives a picture of how Japanese-mix children and people, and black-mixed people and Blacks are treated in Japan.

I was born in Japan and raised there until 1962-3.  Then again, from 1968 to 1970–when I was 13 to 15 years old.  There was a difference in the two periods.

In the 50s and 60s, racism was more overt, physically violent, and widespread– for me and my kind in Japan. In the late 60s, it was more private and more prone to ostracizing and teasing, although physical violence was still a relative normal response. And as we know from news reports and stories of public figures in Japan who are Black-Japanese, it has not changed much in Japan.

The director hoped to shine a light on this persistent problem of Japanese identity and its treatment of “the other.”

 

 

Film: Indochina – Traces of a Mother

West African infantry fighting for France under French colonial rule.

One of the little known stories from the legacy of Afro-Vietnamese children born as one of the results of the contact of French Colonial West African soldiers – tirailleurs sénégalais, with the Vietnamese in the French colonial invasion into Indochina/Southeast Asia, is told through the eyes of Christophe, now a 58-year-old man.

 

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Academy Awards, Racism and Sayonara: Creating the White Pacific

Miyoshi Umeki’s character pouring warm bath water onto her onscreen partner played by Red Buttons.

Many people don’t know (and perhaps don’t care), that a Japanese woman became the first actor of East Asian descent to win an Academy Award.  Her name was Umeki Miyoshi 梅木 美代志, or better known as: Miyoshi Umeki ミヨシ・ウメキ  (May 1929-August 2007).

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Vintage Japanese Film – Trailer: Konketsuji Rika 混血児 リカ (1972)

Konketsuji Rika  混血児 リカ (Mixed-Blood Rica), is another vintage Japanese movie that was fairly successful for its makers.  This movie was released in 1972.  It was proven so successful that it was  turned into a trilogy with two more films in its series. They are in the “exploitation” tradition.  More information here.

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ARTICLE: Vintage Japanese Movies about Mixed-Black Japanese

Ningen no Shōmei 人間の証明 Proof of a Human Being (1977) was one of the Postwar Japanese movies that depicted the Black-Japanese mixed race children and the social  impact and effects from their presence in Japan. As movies go, the issue is covered on personal, individual case stories but covering up the social policies Japan created, for mixed-race children and their mothers, especially.

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