David (28) was born in a small village in Ghana, to a Ghanaian mother and a Japanese father. After spending 6 years in Ghana, they moved to Tokyo. However, due the to difficulty of adjusting to their new life in Japan, his parents separated when he was 10, after which he spent the next 8 years in an orphanage with his two brothers. When David went back to Ghana for the ﬁrst time in his early 20s and saw the disparity in quality of life between his two countries, he realized how blessed he was to have grown up in Japan. He now uses his talents to raise funds to build schools back in Ghana.
Raised entirely in Sydney, Sophia has only a few memories of Japan, where she visited her relatives as a child. At 27, Sophia decided it was time to explore her Japanese heritage, and so she has relocated to Tokyo, leaving behind friends, family and a job she enjoyed. She is determined to make a life for herself in Japan while attempting to learn the language from scratch. Will Japan live up to the expectations she’s held for so long? Will she be able to assimilate? And, ultimately, how will she identify herself after spending some time here?
The Oi family
Gabriela (Mexican, 37) and Tetsuya Oi (Japanese, 41) met when they were students both studying abroad in the United States. They fell in love, married and moved to Nagoya, Japan. In 2002, they welcomed a baby boy, Alex Oi, and two years later Sara. Alex (9) and Sara (7)have been attending Japanese elementary school. However, worried about how her children will straddle three languages (Spanish, Japanese, and English), Gabriela has started to investigate whether she should send her children through the international school system in Nagoya. Alex has also been increasingly showing physical symptoms of stress due to the teasing he receives from his classmates for being hafu. Through the Oi’s, this ﬁlm looks at the tough decisions parents have to make in raising multicultural children.
Venezuelan-Japanese Edward (28)dreams of a multicultural Japan. Raised entirely in a single-mother home in Kobe, Ed received his formal education through the international school system. There he found himself feeling disconnected from the surrounding Japanese community and upon leaving for university in the US, he felt no desire to return. But a few years later, he returned to Japan to take care of his aging mother and discovered a vibrant online community of mixed people, prompting him to form the offline community Mixed Roots Kansai (MRK). Through MRK, Ed is working toward realizing his dream of raising multiracial and multicultural awareness by pushing forward public dialogue and understanding of the changing demographics of Japan
No one can tell that Fusae (35) is hafu just by looking at her. Fusae was born and raised in Kobe, to a Korean father—now a naturalised Japanese citizen—and a Japanese mother. Until she was 15, she was raised to believe that she was entirely Japanese. Upon finding family documents alluding to her Korean roots, she confronted her mother to discover her mixed heritage–a traumatic experience for her at the time. After this revelation, she began looking into the differences between Japanese and Korean cultures. But 20 years later she is still struggling to redefine her place in society as a Korean/Japanese descendant. She has become actively involved in Mixed Roots Kansai. She feels by helping to organize such social events, she is helping younger people like her find acceptance with their mixed identities.